As many states continue to grapple with budget crises that arose as a result of the recession, Indiana appears to stand out from the crowd. The state announced yesterday that it “closed out the budget year that ended June 30 with a surplus of about $1.2 billion.”
While this may seem like a laudable achievement, when you look at how the state reached this number, the surplus is much less impressive. Yesterday, state Auditor Tim Berry admitted that a major reason Indiana has such a large surplus is because it was “built on the backs of state employees,” who had to take on longer workloads and reduced compensation. Referring to these employees, Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) praised them for their “terrific job of cost control“:
State Auditor Tim Berry called the state workers who bore most of those budget cuts via greater workloads, “heroes.” “The surplus was built on the backs of state employees,” said Berry, after he thanked them for tightening their belts. [...] “More money in Hoosiers’ incomes and a terrific job of cost control by state employees working together combined to produce an even stronger result than we expected at budget time,” Daniels said in a statement Thursday. He planned a Friday morning press conference to discuss the budget.
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