Will Holcomb call for the full $286M/yr increase his agency requested?
INDIANAPOLIS – Call it prescient. Even Governor Eric Holcomb predicted his GOP peers would try to save money by trimming the appropriation to the embattled Department of Child Services. That’s preciously what happened this morning as Senate Republicans unveiled a budget down about $100 million compared to the agency’s requested increase.
Given Indiana Republicans’ long and shameful track record at DCS, it’s not surprising they’d try to justify siphoning money from the agency with a couple months of improving numbers. It’s not lost on Statehouse watchers that improving numbers are enough proof for GOP appropriators to cut funding, but when caseload levels were high enough to violate state law, significant funding increases were off the table.
Does Holcomb – fresh off a stinging hate crimes defeat at the hands of Statehouse Republicans – have enough juice to get the funding restored? Will he call on appropriators to fund the Department at the level they requested? Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody isn’t holding his breath.
“When the cameras and the questions fade, look how quickly Statehouse Republicans abandon their ‘principles‘ and abused children,” said Zody. “Statehouse Republicans’ word means nothing on DCS. That they’d take a buck from abused children after they proclaimed fully funding DCS a top priority is about as arrogant and dishonest as you can get. I hope Holcomb finds the nerve to take on his party but he’s proven about as effective as a snow shovel in a rain storm.”