Indiana Public Question 1 asks if the state should adopt a policy requiring legislators to make a balanced budget every two years, amending Article 10 Section 5 of Indiana’s constitution.
A balanced budget means spending will not exceed the state's revenue. The requirement can be suspended by a two-thirds vote from the Indiana House and Senate.
Voting yes means being in support of requiring the legislature to adopt a balanced budget. The amendment was also introduced to prevent court-ordered budgets from passing without legislative approval.
If the article is amended, pension amounts will be determined by actuaries' calculations. However, pension accounts have been actuarially funded for years, according to the Indiana Public Retirement System, which is in charge of pension funds for Indiana.
Beth Cate, clinical associate law professor at IU, said opponents of the bill are against it because Indiana has little record of going above the budget and the amendment is uncalled for. However, the Department for Child Services went over budget by $284 million in 2018.
When that occurred, the DCS was given $125 million for the fiscal year 2018. A press statement from the DCS said a surplus could be diverted to the department if needed.
Proponents for the amendment argue that despite Indiana being fiscally conservative, writing the amendment into the constitution is a precautionary action, Cate said.