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INDIANAPOLIS | Local governments and school corporations in financial distress could ask a state board to appoint an emergency manager to fix their finances under legislation approved by the Indiana General Assembly Friday.

House Bill 1192 empowers an emergency manager appointed by the Indiana Distressed Unit Appeals Board to reduce spending, cut payroll and renegotiate contracts without first obtaining the consent of elected officials.

The emergency manager could not raise taxes, but would hold power until the financial distress was resolved.

State Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso, sponsored the legislation because he said the state's property tax caps have put significant financial pressure on local governments.

"At least we now have an option for a local unit of government that really needs help, and recognizes they need help, to get it," Charbonneau said.

The House approved the legislation, 96-0. The Senate vote was 48-1.

It now goes to the governor. 

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