State ends fiscal year with budget surplus

By Abrahm Hurt
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana leaders said Hoosiers can have a sense of security in the state’s finances.

Indiana’s 2017 Fiscal Closeout Report, which officials released Wednesday, showed a $42 million surplus and reserves at almost $1.8 billion.

Auditor of the State Tera Klutz speaks at the Statehouse. Klutz announced that Indiana had a $42 million surplus and reserves of nearly $1.8 billion. Photo by Abrahm Hurt, TheStatehouseFile.com

This is good news for taxpayers, said Auditor of the State Tera Klutz, because the state continues to operate within its means, provide services and plan for the future.

“This is important for the people of Indiana because we often hear stories of other states not paying their bills, not passing balanced budgets and shutting down services,” she said. “It’s important to know the place where you choose to live, work, invest and possibly raise a family is financially stable.”

Gov. Eric Holcomb said Indiana’s financial position remains strong.

“With more than a decade of balanced budgets and healthy reserves behind us, we must remain vigilant to maintain our position as the fiscal envy of the nation,” he said in a statement. “To do that, we must continue managing our state’s finances carefully, diversify our economy and grow our workforce.”

Micah Vincent, Office of Management and budget director, said they hit the fiscal priorities set by Holcomb on the “dot.”

The state did hold back funds for Medicaid instead of reverting them to the general fund.

“That is a set number, but what we chose to do was hold back $74 million dollars just due to uncertainties in what’s going to happen with Medicaid, uncertainties with the opioid crisis also uncertainties as we see the growth of caseload at the Department of Child Services,” Vincent said.

Klutz said Wednesday’s announcement was important to Hoosiers because if the stock market would crash and the economy would turn, the government would still be able to provide necessary services.

“We won’t be reactive,” she said. “We’ll be able to be proactive because we have enough money in the bank to continue to provide those services for two or three months while we’re making those tough decisions.”

Abrahm Hurt is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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