Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

October 8, 2013

TOM LoBIANCO: Federal shutdown raises Ind. brush with closure

Federal shutdown raises Indiana brush with closure in 1993.

After spending years walking up to the brink of a shutdown, the federal government finally shuttered over the ongoing health care budget battle.

Federal workers have been furloughed. Passport applications and tax help are on hold. And federal services that often go overlooked, from NASA research to high-profile national parks operations, have become the centerpieces of floor speeches from the U.S. House and Senate.

Even in Indiana, state government has been pulled into dealing with the shutdown. The state Department of Workforce Development issued guidelines last week for federal employees seeking unemployment assistance.

But states largely have escaped the fray, and many leaders have gone out of their way to emphasize state governments pass budgets and get their work done.

That’s not to say it hasn’t been a close call at times.

Through the early 1990s, then-Democratic Gov. Evan Bayh’s budget battles with lawmakers occasionally sparked talk of a possible state government shutdown. In 1993, Bayh called lawmakers back for a special session to pass the budget.

Services that usually operate smoothly with little attention, from state parks to social welfare assistance, were suddenly pulled into the debate. While the special session dragged on through June 1993, then-Auditor Ann Devore made the case that services would end if lawmakers and the governor couldn’t reach an agreement.

“The purpose of state government is to provide services to its citizens,” she said at the time. “As of July 1, 1993, the purpose of this state government may cease to exist.”

The shutdown didn’t happen, and lawmakers have generally passed a budget within their allotted budget-writing sessions every two years since.

But Washington-style partisan gridlock has crept into the Indiana Statehouse in recent years. House Democrats led a five-week walkout in 2011 over a package of education bills and right-to-work legislation. They followed again in 2012 with periodic boycotts of the House floor that stalled passage of the right-to-work ban on union fees for a few weeks.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Smoking ordinance misguided As a subscriber to the printed edition of the Kokomo Tribune, and a non-smoker, I was very interested upon seeing a page one article in the Aug. 13 edition titled “City-wide ban on smoking revealed.” After reading the article, my interest was peaked

    August 22, 2014

  • Why government openness matters Failing to share information makes us weaker. It enfeebles congressional oversight, which is a cornerstone of representative democracy and which, when aggressively carried out by fully informed legislators, can strengthen policy-making. One of the fu

    August 22, 2014

  • Aug. 22: Letters to the Editor Rokita wrong on GMOsThe Aug. 13 Tribune article about Rokita’s “Town Hall Meeting” left out a key issue — Rokita’s co-sponsorship of HR4432. This bill would ban mandatory labeling of currently genetically modified foods and prohibit any state from en

    August 22, 2014

  • Use the law to save lives As college students head back to campus, it’s a good time to remind them of the Indiana Lifeline Law.When the General Assembly passed the law two years ago, the goal was to encourage minors to call for help by giving them immunity from being prosecut

    August 22, 2014

  • It's time to deal with crisis For five and a half years, the president has gone around Congress to ignore, defy and alter laws in a variety of areas, from Obamacare implementation to issuing excessive new labor and environmental rules to infringing on religious freedom. It is no

    August 21, 2014

  • Nation must be united On Aug. 9, unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, by a police officer. Since that time, protestors and unrest have filled the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, a town near St. Louis.A similar scenario

    August 21, 2014

  • John understands fight against mental illness Terre Haute native Tommy John understands all too well how the pain of depression can lead a talented entertainer like Robin Williams to commit suicide.Like Williams, John achieved national fame, posting 288 victories as a major league baseball pitch

    August 21, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor Former Kokomoan on FergusonI was a resident of Kokomo from 1992 to 2008. Because of the housing crisis, my wife and I relocated to the St. Louis, Missouri area, which is close to where I grew up. With the eyes of the world focused upon the St. Louis

    August 21, 2014

  • OPN - KT082014 - king What Fergusonsays about us Aug. 9 is a day that Americans lost sight of themselves. It is the day Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black teenager of Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, was shot and killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson. That evening, and for all but o

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letters to the editor Congrats on wind farm defeat Congratulations to the citizens of Kokomo and Howard County! Your officials have done you a great favor by stopping any further considerations for construction of industrial wind turbines in your area. Now, if the fede

    August 20, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Rescue Efforts Suspended at Japan Landslide Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Raw: Smaller Marches in Ferguson Marathon Suspect's Friend Pleads Guilty Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer Ky. Firefighters Hurt in Ice Bucket Challenge Federal Investigation Will Look at Use of Force Community Deals With Michael Brown Aftermath US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Ferguson Teachers Training to Deal With Trauma Jon Hamm on the Unrest in Ferguson Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit TX Gov Perry in Washington: 'Confident' in Case Hospital Releases Two Missionaries Who Had Ebola Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll