Simpson says cuts to education should be last resort
Says decisions should be made on annual forecast, not month-to-month targeting
INDIANAPOLIS –Senate Democrat Leader Vi Simpson (D-Ellettsville) responded to the governor’s announcement today that he will cut $150 million in state funding to public colleges and universities. Simpson says cuts to education should be the last resort and she questioned making the cuts based on monthly targets set by the governor’s office.
“The governor is right to be cautious in terms of the revenue going forward, but he should also be cautious in the kinds of cuts that he is making. Cuts to K-12 schools and higher education should be the last case scenario, not the first,” Simpson commented.
Simpson also said the targets that the governor refers to on a monthly basis are set by his office and the State Budget Agency, not the bipartisan revenue forecast committee.
“I appreciate the governor taking into consideration the seriousness of the situation, but I think it is important to understand that the revenue forecast and the budget are based on an annual basis and not on a month-to-month basis,” Simpson explained.
She pointed to approximately $100 million in motor vehicle excise tax revenue in the “Other” revenue category expected to be collected in October and November. Since property tax billings have been delayed in several counties, the revenue has not come in as targeted. Another $50 million is included in the “Other” category for December’s revenue target. Simpson says this is not lost revenue, but revenue that is expected to be collected before the end of the state’s 2010 fiscal year.