As South Bend State Representative Pat Bauer transitions from House Speaker to House Minority Leader, he is wishing the governor luck on coming up with a budget in the next legislative session without raising taxes.
“I think its magic if he can do without a tax increase,” Bauer says. “He’s ‘magic Mitch’ instead of the other monikers he’s chosen if he can do that.”
Bauer says the last budget relied on $3 billion in federal stimulus money that will not be available this time around.
“To make up the $1 billion in the general fund and the $2 billion in the unemployment, two separate issues,” Bauer says, “without cutting very deeply, I don’t see how he does it.”
Bauer says the burden now falls on the governor and the Republicans to make it all work.
Bauer also says Democrats might actually be lucky to have lost their majority in the Indiana House during this year’s midterm elections.
“If we had been in the majority,” Bauer says, “the great burden upon our shoulders would have been to get out of the state out of its $1 billion to $3 billion debt.”
Bauer says officials propped up 2009’s budget with about $3 billion from federal stimulus money—a crutch that Bauer says won’t be available this year.