IBJNews

House GOP budget spares bank insurance fund

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana bankers were relieved late last week when House Republicans decided to spare a bank insurance fund from being raided to plug holes elsewhere in the state budget.

The $250 million Public Deposit Insurance Fund, created during the Great Depression, is designed to replenish money deposited in a failed bank by schools, cities and other public entities, and which was not fully reimbursed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Banks paid into the fund until 1985 and interest has built up since. As IBJ reported late last year, elected officials were eyeing the fund as a potential revenue source.

In January, Gov. Mitch Daniels proposed transfering $200 million from the deposit fund to the state’s general fund reserves—part of his plan to build up the state’s reserves by about $500 million.

But the industry unleashed a “full assault” on the Indiana Statehouse, sending local bankers to persuade legislators and the Daniels administration that the money belonged to the banks and still provides important protection for local taxpayer funds.

“Our bankers came out of the woodwork and were very, very spirited and passionate about saving this fund,” said Amber Van Til, vice president of government relations at the Indiana Bankers Association. She added, “We didn’t have one legislator tell us they thought it was a good idea.”

At the very least, Rep. Jeff Espich, R-Uniondale, agreed with the bankers. And as the head of the House Ways and Means Committee, he decided to find the $200 million elsewhere.

“I think it’s the banks’ money, but that’s not even my point. My point is that it continues to have a purpose and that is to protecting public deposits in those institutions,” Espich said at a Feb. 17 news conference, according to The Franklin Online.

Espich’s budget proposal would generate $200 million in four ways:

1.    Collecting $610 million in overpayments made by the state to local governments more quickly than previous forecasts, bringing in $88 million in the next two years that was originally predicted to arrive in the following two years.
2.    Maximizing the collection of quality-assessment fees from nursing homes and other retirement facilities, generating $48 million.
3.    Decreasing state contributions to the Mass Transit Fund by $15 million.
4.    Tapping the remaining $50 million in the state’s surplus fund.

The Ways and Means Committee passed Espich’s budget Feb. 17 by a 15-8 vote along party lines.

However, Van Til at the bankers association intends to keep lobbying to protect the bank insurance fund, which could still be tapped during budget negotiations later in the legislative session.

“What we’ve got to do is keep the profile at a high level, keep the arguments coming, the protection of the PDIF at the top of the agenda for legislators,” she said. “Because once the doors close in conference committee, we won’t be able to stand there and make our arguments.”

Tapping the banking insurance fund is not unprecedented. The state borrowed $50 million from it in 2003 and has yet to pay it back. Also, since 2002, interest from the fund has been used to pay police and firefighter pensions.

Daniels had argued that a new collateral-based insurance program for banks, approved by the Legislature last year, renders the old bank insurance fund obsolete.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Big biz as uaual
    The middle class remains under attack while fat cats, banks, insurance companies and Wall Street cover each others backs thanks to the politicos.

    Great country or what?
  • To Jim
    Jim, yes, that is the same thing as the unions underwriting a lot of money to the Democrat party...so the Democrats took the "mature" way out and skipped town...I know that isn't related to this story, but you can't accuse the GOP of something when you know full well the Democrats do the same thing. Just saying. BTW, I am not affiliated with a particular party.
  • GOP Logic
    The real reason that they backed off of using this money is that the banks underwrite a lot of money to the GOP. Scratch my back and I line your pockets.
  • It's too bad
    It's too bad someone didn't step up when the government decided to raid the social security fund and use its money (deposited by the working citizens)to plug their overspending gaps. We wouldn't be in the mess we are in today. Somewhere along the line, government has got to learn they can't spend money that isnt theirs. How many times did they refinance the Hoosier Dome to get cash? How much debt still lingers from that?
  • ...
    typical republican corporate welfare

    screw unions but protect your fatcat banker buddies

    the tea party should be so proud....

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. It is nice and all that the developer grew up here and lives here, but do you think a company that builds and rehabs cottage-style homes has the chops to develop $150 Million of office, retail, and residential? I'm guessing they will quickly be over their skis and begging the city for even more help... This project should occur organically and be developed by those that can handle the size and scope of something like this as several other posters have mentioned.

  2. It amazes me how people with apparently zero knowledge of free markets or capitalism feel the need to read and post on a business journal website. Perhaps the Daily Worker would suit your interests better. It's definitely more sympathetic to your pro government theft views. It's too bad the Star is so awful as I'm sure you would find a much better home there.

  3. In other cities, expensive new construction projects are announced by real estate developers. In Carmel, they are announced by the local mayor. I am so, so glad I don't live in Carmel's taxbase--did you see that Carmel, a small Midwest suburb, has $500 million in debt?? That's unreal! The mayor thinks he's playing with Lego sets and Monopoly money here! Let these projects develop organically without government/taxpayer backing! Also, from a design standpoint, the whole town of Carmel looks comical. Grand, French-style buildings and promenades, sitting next to tire yards. Who do you guys think you are? Just my POV as a recent transplant to Indy.

  4. GeorgeP, you mention "necessities". Where in the announcement did it say anything about basic essentials like groceries? None of the plans and "vision" have basic essentials listed and nothing has been built. Traffic WILL be a nightmare. There is no east/west road capacity. GeorgeP, you also post on www.carmelchatter.com and your posts have repeatedly been proven wrong. You seem to have a fair amount of inside knowledge. Do you work on the third floor of Carmel City Hal?

  5. I don't know about the commuter buses...but it's a huge joke to see these IndyGo buses with just one or two passengers. Absolutely a disgusting waste of TAXPAYER money. Get some cojones and stop funding them. These (all of them) council members work for you. FIRE THEM!

ADVERTISEMENT