Despite recessionary pressures, Indiana ended fiscal 1991 on June 30 with combined balances of $587.4 million.
The state, which had been experiencing a slowdown in key revenues, ended the year with a general fund working cash balance of $109.4 million, a $155 million tuition reserve, and a $323 million rainy day fund balance.
"We can be proud that Indiana has weathered the most severe economic storm in a decade with our balances largely intact and without raising taxes or shutting down government," said Gov. Evan Bayh in a statement released earlier this month.
State officials attributed the better-than-expected balances to spending controls put into effect by Gov. Bayh last September and to legislation that allows the state to issue bonds to finance a new maximum security prison.
Mark Moore, the state's deputy budget director, said most of the money in the general fund and tuition reserve balances came from state agencies' unused appropriatons that were returned to state coffers due to the spending controls. Those so-called reversions totaled $233.1 million
He said about $36 million in additional spending was saved by legislation, passed last month in conjunction with the state's fiscal 1992-93 biennial budget, that permits the Indiana State Building Commission to issue lease revenue bonds for prison construction.
But Indiana is not out of the recessionary woods yet. Gov. Bayh warned that the recession is projected to cost the state $1.1 billion in general fund revenues during fiscal years 1991, 1992, and 1993. About $137 million of the rainy-day fund has been earmarked to help balance the $12.4 billion two-year general fund budget that was signed by the governor on June 14.
The state is also projecting that its combined balances will shrink to $529.8 million at the end of fiscal 1992 and to $366.1 million at the end of fiscal 1993 due to increased funding of schools, public safety, and health care for the needy.