Uncategorized Budget Brief: Utilities, Lottery and Statewide elected offices

Budget Brief: Utilities, Lottery and Statewide elected offices

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Hearing Date: December 9, 2010

Testifying Agencies:

IURC

Gaming Commission

Horse Racing Commission

Hoosier Lottery

State Library

Auditor of State

Treasurer of State

Secretary of State

Attorney General

 

Presentation Highlights:


Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) – The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) is a fact-finding body that hears evidence in cases filed before it and makes decisions based on the evidence presented in those cases. The IURC, by law, is charged with balancing the interests of ratepayers and utilities to ensure reliable utility service at reasonable rates. The IURC has regulatory authority over more than 900 utilities providing electric, steam, water, natural gas, sewer, telecommunications, and video services.

In 2009, Indiana’s average retail rates were the 15th lowest in the nation, as compared to the 12th lowest for 2008. The IURC fields about 5,500 complaints per year and

The IURC’s presentation to the budget committee gave updates on the availability of net metering options for consumers in Indiana, discussed their efforts to examine consumer complaints about utility companies’ tree trimming policies, and included a brief discussion of the major rate cases that are currently underway.

The IURC is funded entirely by Dedicated Funds, and does not receive any General Fund appropriations. The IURC contributes approximately $150,000 in revenue to the General Fund each year and estimates that their efforts save utility owners about $12.3M each year.

Hoosier Lottery  – The Hoosier lottery does not receive any money from the general fund. In FY 2010, the lottery raised $740.3M dollars.

The lottery’s net income to the state was distributed in the following manner:

  • $30 million allocated to the pension and disability funds for retired Hoosier police officers and firefighters.
  • $30 million was allocated to the pension fund for retired teachers.
  • $130 million was directed to the Build Indiana Fund, which used it to offset the motor vehicle excise tax. For more details, see the Build Indiana Fund Distribution Report for fiscal year 2010.

State Library  – The State Library receives over $3.4 million a year in federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA). The amount of federal money the Library receives each year is based, in part, on the state funds allocated to the State Library. The state must contribute 34% of the total annual program funding. Additionally the state is required to maintain its financial contribution at not less than the average amount of its contribution for the three years prior to the current year. This formula ensures that federal assistance results in a steady or increased level of library-related activity and that a state does not replace state dollars with federal dollars over time. The State Library funding reductions over the past five years have brought the Indiana State Library to the minimum allowed by IMLS formulas to allow federal funding at the current level. Additional state funding reductions may result in reductions of federal funding and eventually library services.

See the State Library “Agency Overview” for details about some of the library’s accomplishments and upcoming challenges.

Secretary of the State (SOS) – The Secretary of State’s budget request for FY 2012 and FY 2013 is currently projecting a reversion to the state exceeding 20% of its FY 11 General Fund allocation.

Attorney General’s Office (AG) – The Office of the Indiana Attorney General’s budget request includes a General Fund appropriation of $13,529,845 for operating expenses in FY 2012 and a General Fund appropriation of $829,789 specifically for the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in FY 2012. All other fund requests are derived from dedicated funds.