Back to: Indiana Lawmakers
April 02, 2021
In every odd-numbered year, members of the Indiana General Assembly face one task that cannot be avoided or deferred — at least not without serious consequences. Unless they want state government to shut down for lack of funding, legislators have to craft a two-year budget. In theory, the process unfolds over months, as agency requests are reviewed, budget committee recommendations are rendered, revenue projections are compiled, and spending plans are drafted and dissected. Of course stakeholders and taxpayers provide input during a series of formal public hearings. Usually, in practice, though, the final budget is hammered out in the session’s closing hours, mostly behind closed doors, by a House-Senate conference committee. On this week’s show, we’ll explore one of the General Assembly’s most structured, yet most arcane processes. Joining host Jon Schwantes to make sense of all the hubbub over dollars and cents will be Republican Representative Tim Brown of Crawfordsville, Chairman of the budget-writing House Ways and Means Committee; Democratic Representative Greg Porter of Indianapolis, the ranking minority member on that committee; Republican Senator Eric Bassler of Washington, the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee; and Democratic Senator Eddie Melton of Gary, the ranking minority member of that panel.