Indiana Budgets for Two Years at a Time. Could Congress Benefit?

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Indiana Budgets for Two Years at a Time. Could Congress Benefit?

Young suggests longer cycle could solve annual stalemate over spending bills

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Congress is again overdue to pass the bills to fund the government. Indiana Senator Todd Young has an idea: do it half as often.

Indiana is one of 19 states which budgets two years at a time. Young says the federal government should do the same. He envisions authorizing the programs one year and setting the funding levels the next.

Most states with two-year budgets took that path out of necessity: their legislatures only met every two years. That's the case with Indiana, which didn't begin annual sessions until 1972. In 1975, the state switched to yearly budgets as well, but abandoned that idea after a few years and returned to two-year spending plans

For now, the government is running on a stopgap spending bill which expires in two weeks. Congress missed the September 30 deadline to pass spending bills for a 15th year in a row. Young says there are signs of progress on a final spending deal, but says there are still conflicts to work out.

(Photo: Valeriya Potapova/Thinkstock)

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