Just like President Clinton did During the early 1990’s to Newt Gingrich; so Goes the Indiana Democrap Party today:
INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mitch Daniels warned Friday that all nonessential government functions — including casinos, the lottery, Bureau of Motor Vehicles and state parks — will close at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday if state legislators can’t agree on a budget by the June 30 deadline.
Daniels’ remarks came in response to comments made the day before by House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer that the special session might not end by Tuesday, and could, in fact, go beyond July 21. The Democratic-led House and Republican-led Senate have been at odds over key items in the budget, including education, Indianapolis’ Capital Improvement Board, which oversees the city’s sports and convention venues, and gambling.
And there’s the nut of the problem right there. Speaker Bauer has a royal mad-on with Governor Daniels, in particular about Daniels’ rejection of the Stimulus Funding, and isn’t about to compromise with someone he thinks is making him look bad.
Plus Bauer hasn’t had an original idea in years . . .
Daniels said since the legislature has not approved a budget, and the House has not voted on a contingency plan already approved by the Senate that would allow bills to be paid until a new budget is approved, he would have to go to what he called “Plan C.” He said only emergency services and agencies such as state police, Department of Correction facilities and Department of Natural Resources conservation officers would continue to operate.
Also continuing to operate would be state schools, prisons, and mental hospitals. Unemployment benefits, welfare and child support payments would continue for those already eligible.
However, most other state functions would cease to operate and government employees would be furloughed. Road construction would stop, no tuition payments would be made to schools and no financial aid given to college students. BMV branches and state parks would close, as would casinos and horse tracks, which are required to have state regulators on site at all times.
And when the State parks, the casinos, and the Horse tracks close down in the heart of summer, how long until the voters start screaming?
“The Senate is ready, the House Republicans are ready, and I’m ready to finish and go home. We are waiting only on the House Democratic leadership, which hasn’t budged an inch, and has wasted a lot of time and taxpayer money this week,” he said.
Jack Ross, executive director of the independent Legislative Services Agency, said the state has not been in a similar situation since 1887, although it narrowly avoided one in 1993, when it passed a budget just five minutes before deadline.
For Boyd Gaming and Harrah’s Entertainment, both based in Las Vegas, this would be the second time in three years that a legislative impasse would force the closure of one of their casinos. Boyd’s Borgata and Harrah’s casino both took financial hits when New Jersey shut down all nonessential government agencies in July 2006.
And here’s what should be terrifying Bauer; all the casinos in Indiana by statute are Casino Boats. You piss them off, they’ll sail off to Illinois or Ohio — and they’re in no mood to lose money. How many jobs will be lost if the casinos weigh anchor for more friendly climes?
The Senate passed a two-year budget that spends $28.5 billion over 2010 and 2011 and retains $1.225 billion in reserves, as requested by Gov. Daniels. It includes $1 billion in federal economic stimulus money. The House passed a one-year budget that spends $13.8 billion with no stimulus money included. It leaves a $1.25 billion surplus, according to Crawford
Sounds like somebody’s in desperate need of a conference committee. Also sounds like Governor Daniels needs to get the word out — but fast!
Go, Mitch, Go!