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  • Distributed by President Owensby - Understanding Indiana's Balanced Budget Amendment
    Updated On: Oct 23, 2018

    Below, starting with the heading "INPRS BULLET POINTS" is a reply that Leo received from INPRS today regarding questions that the FOP had posed to them regarding Question #1 on the upcoming ballot.

    It is stated in this email that the 77 fund is not affected by this amendment. I also read that the amendment calls for certain funds to be actuarily funded each budget (which is also good), but that the fund affecting Excise, Gaming and Conservation Officers could be caught up in any potential shortfall in a budget year. It doesn't state that the pension funds will be utilized to make up any budget shortfall, only that the shortfall will be made up during the next biennial budget cycle. It would take a 2/3 majority vote to overturn this during the budget cycle.  I do understand the angst anytime our pension system(s) are addressed in the legislature.  Obviously you can read this and vote however you wish, however, due to the fact that some of our pension systems may be affected (albeit a slight chance) I would recommend voting no. 

    INPRS BULLET POINTS:

    Understanding Indiana’s Balanced Budget Amendment 

    • Indiana voters will have the opportunity to vote “yes” or “no” on Nov. 6, 2018 to determine whether to require the state legislature to enact a balanced budget for each biennial budget period. The amendment would also require public pension funds to be actuarially funded during each budget period. A two-thirds vote in each chamber would be required to suspend these provisions. 

    • If there is a budget shortfall, the difference is subtracted from what may be spent in the next biennial budget. Any shortfall will not impact the contributions made to the Indiana Public Retirement Systems’ various funds. 

    • The requirement that public pension funds be actuarially funded during each budget period impacts only the state’s pre-funded pension funds. This requirement is designed to ensure that pension dollars promised to employees of the State of Indiana are protected. The impacted funds are: 

    o The State of Indiana’s portion of the Public Employees’ Retirement Fund (PERF) Hybrid Plan

    o The State of Indiana’s portion of select Teachers’ Retirement Fund (TRF) members, which may include:

    ▪ Teachers employed by state correctional facilities

    o Excise, Gaming and Conservation Officers’ Retirement Fund

    • The amendment has no impact on funds that are not paid into by the state of Indiana’s biennial budget. The funds the state of Indiana does not pay into include:

    o The Teachers’ Retirement Fund (TRF)

    ▪ TRF Pre-96 (a pay-go fund)

    ▪ TRF ’96 (funded by each school district, not the state of Indiana)

    ▪ My Choice: Retirement Savings Plan for Teachers

    o 1977 Fund (funded by each police and fire entity)

    o Public Employees’ Retirement Fund (PERF)

    ▪ Political subdivisions (non-State of Indiana) participating in the Hybrid Plan

    ▪ My Choice: Retirement Savings Plan for Government Employees

    ▪ My Choice: Retirement Savings Plan for State Employees

    o Legislator’s Defined Benefit Fund

    o Legislator’s Defined Contribution Fund

    o The Judges’ Retirement System

    o The Prosecuting Attorney’s Fund

    CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

    Section 5. (a) No law shall authorize any debt to be contracted, on behalf of the State, except in the following cases: to meet casual deficits in the revenue; to pay the interest on the State Debt; to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or, if hostilities be threatened, provide for the public defense. 

    (b) The following definitions apply to this section only for purposes of the limits on the State budget under this section:

    (1) "Revenue" means all income received by the state general fund and all other state funds, excluding the proceeds of bonds or other loans.

    (2) "Expense" means the ordinary operating costs of State government, including any debt service payments made during the biennial budget period.

    (c) The total amount of expense appropriations enacted by the General Assembly for a biennial budget may not exceed the estimated revenue of the State in the biennial budget period. 

    (d) A State budget enacted by the General Assembly must appropriate money for the State's prefunded pension funds in the amount necessary to actuarially fund the accrued liability of all such pension funds during the budget period.

    (e) If expenses exceed actual revenue received by the State when reconciled at the close of a biennial budget period, the subsequent biennial budget must subtract any shortfall from the projected revenue available for that subsequent biennial budget.

    (f) The requirements under subsections (c) and (d) may be suspended if at least two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives and at least two-thirds of the members of the Senate vote to suspend the requirement.

    (g) A court that orders a remedy pursuant to any case or controversy arising under this section may not order any remedies other than a declaratory judgment or such other remedies that are specifically authorized by the General Assembly in a law implementing this section.


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