HB 1007 – Fiscal Matters
Authored by Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville)

Adds several standard provisions to the sports wagering fund. Repeals a provision requiring review by the state Budget Committee of certain agreements or extensions of agreements entered into by the Indiana Finance Authority or the state. Appropriates money from the state general fund for various projects of Indiana’s state educational institutions.

Chamber position: Support

The latest: Passed by the House Ways and Means Committee 13-7.

This bill cash funds $291 million in six university capital projects that were approved for bonding in last year’s budget – one at each of six state higher education institutions. The cash funding simply means the projects will be paid for directly out of the existing state reserves rather than the universities having to sell bonds and incur debt. The idea of cash funding projects was suggested by the administration after the revenue collections proved better than projected, adding to an already hefty reserve balance. Democrats on the committee sought amendments to redirect the use of the funds to instead provide teacher bonuses and chose to vote against the bill when those amendments were defeated.

Indiana Chamber action/commentary: We acknowledge the differences in priorities but recognize the bill as being a prudent fiscal measure. Our strongly supportive testimony was based on a variety of facts: these projects had already been approved; cash funding would save the state a substantial amount of interest; the step allows the projects to move forward promptly without additional debt; and, it represents expenditures that will not create any ongoing obligations – making the measure an altogether sensible use of excess revenue.

Resource: Bill Waltz at (317) 264-6887 or email: [email protected]