CHICAGO -- Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said he would sell the state airplane and ask state agencies and universities for cuts to offset an unexpected $141 million budget shortfall.
“Fiscal integrity is the foundation of prosperity,” the Republican governor said in a statement Dec. 9. “The cost-saving measures we are implementing today will ensure that Indiana remains fiscally sound during these uncertain times.”
Pence asked state agencies to cut 1.5% -- on top of an already implemented 3% -- to save $25 million. The state’s higher education budget will be cut 2%, saving $26.5 million. A state plane used by the governor and other officials is expected to fetch $2.5 million. The state will also delay spending $2.5 million for a new bioscience research institute.
State tax revenues, primarily sales and income taxes, are $141.3 million below original projections through the first five months of the fiscal year. Actual revenue is down $102 million from the previous period.
The state also lost $63 million in expected tobacco settlement payments, a decision the state’s attorney general is appealing.
Pence announced the cuts just days after he said he wanted to cut up to $1 billion in taxes, mostly earmarked for local governments, as well as drum up $400 million in new highway funding.
The triple-A rated state has more than $2 billion in its rainy-day fund.