Local News

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels says he remains optimistic that state lawmakers can reach a budget agreement before next week’s deadline, but he’s prepared to keep essential services in operation if there’s a government shutdown.

The legislature has until the end of Tuesday to approve a new spending plan. Daniels says if that doesn’t happen, he’ll use his emergency powers to keep some services running.

“By that I mean the state police will continue to patrol the roads of indiana. The prisons will remain open, but no one will be released or unsupervised. Public assistance checks, we believe, can continue to go, including unemployment insurance, to those already qualified,” Daniels said Friday.

The Republican governor backs a spending plan that cleared the GOP-led Senate. He says the proposal passed by the Democratic House spends too heavily and would deplete the state’s rainy day fund. Democrats say the GOP plan would shortchange education and job creation.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."