Photo: Office of the Governor
State government is tightening its belt and asking universities to do the same after state revenues came in more than $140 million below expectations for the first five months of the fiscal year.
November state tax collections were $77 million off target.
Despite roughly $2 billion in reserve, Pence is asking state agencies to cut 1.5 percent of their budgets on top of the 3 percent the state typically has agencies revert at the end of the fiscal year.
The governor will delay the release of money to help fund the new Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, which Pence only last week touted as a major accomplishment of his first year in office. The governor is requiring universities to cut 2 percent from some of the state money they received. Pence says he also intends to sell the plane the governor uses.
Rep. Terry Goodin, D-Austin, a member of the state budget committee, says cutting higher ed dollars borrows from the future.
“I don’t if that’s necessarily a good idea, especially on the heels of where the governor’s talking about making more tax cuts,” he says. “We probably need to analyze better the situation we’re in and utilize the dollars we have currently instead of making more cuts to the future because if these same cuts are going to continue to be made then all we’re doing is jeopardizing the future.”
Goodin says the state needs to reevaluate its entire fiscal picture, which he says could include putting a halt to the ongoing corporate tax cuts.