Porter statement on 2021 fiscal closeout report
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana's 2021 Fiscal Closeout Report, which officials released on Wednesday (July 14, 2021), showed a $1.818 billion annual surplus and combined reserves at almost $3.922 billion. State Rep. Gregory W. Porter (D-Indianapolis), a member of the State Budget Committee and Ranking Democrat on the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee, made the following statement:
“The COVID-19 pandemic left a lot of uncertainties for Hoosiers and state lawmakers,” Porter said.
“We did not know what the future of the fiscal and physical health of our state would look like in years to come. Thanks to the recovery efforts of federal Democrats, the State of Indiana has continued to bounce back at rates no one could have predicted.
“It was great to hear that the revenue forecasts for the next biennium exceeded expectations by an astronomical $1.212 billion in three short months since the release in April. These numbers are a clear demonstration that the Biden administration's post-pandemic recovery efforts are building our nation back better.
“Since the next revenue forecast update will not be issued until December 2021, no one knows how much more we could exceed projections in the remaining six months of the calendar year. However, if this robust recovery continues and legislation like the American Jobs Plan pass at the federal level, revenue growth could exceed anywhere between $1 and $2 billion.
“After statutory excess reserve transfers, like the Pre-1996 Teacher Retirement Fund and the Automatic Tax Refund, Indiana will still be left with an embarrassment of riches that could be better used to help our state's human infrastructure.
“I am proposing that at least $300 million be transferred to the Minority Health Trust Fund, and the remaining dollars be split between a teacher pay raise in the 2023 budget and student loan debt relief.”