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Gov. Daniels, Simpson Exchange Shots Over State Fiscal Errors

Last updated on Saturday, May 19, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The leader of Indiana’s Senate Democrats wants know the cause of the state government’s financial woes.

Minority Leader Vi Simpson called on Friday for an expanded audit of all state fiscal offices.

Gov. Mitch Daniels responded with harsh criticism of the way Democrats ran the Statehouse before his administration.

Simpson said the recent fiscal mistakes seem to be pervasive, RTV6's Norman Cox reported.

Simpson said she wants an outside audit of state government.

"I would like to see an audit of all fiscal processes and fiscal offices at the state government level," Simpson said. "Only a few of the mistakes that we have found recently have come out of the Department of Revenue."

Simpson pointed to the discovery of more than $300 million in misplaced corporate tax payments, the more than $200 million in county income tax money improperly withheld from payments to local governments, the error in distribution of excise tax funds to counties, and the money lost in penalties and interest because state agencies, including Indianapolis Department of Transportation and Child Services, are making late payments to vendors.

She said Daniels is losing his reputation as a "paragon of fiscal responsibility."

Daniels did not take kindly to that assessment.

"We had a couple software glitches in one corner of one department," Daniels said. "We'll fix them. But I don't think most Hoosiers or anybody anywhere else sees this as anything but a successful, fiscally solvent state. You know, Vi, I guess, has forgotten what bad government looks like. And if she wants about a 50-page list of what really bad government looks like, I'll show her what we found when we arrived here."

Simpson did not respond in kind to Daniels' words and said he seemed "frustrated."

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