INDIANAPOLIS— Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) issued the following statement in response to the fiscal year close-out numbers released today by the state auditor’s office.

“Today, the administration announced the state will have a combined balance of over $2 billion for this fiscal year, with a little higher surplus estimated for FY 2015. In order to help reach this magical two billion dollar number, the governor continues to order cuts from already lean state programs without regard for how they will impact citizens.

“Let’s not confuse the state of Indiana’s books with the state of the average Hoosier. It’s become abundantly clear that the state’s fiscal health has little to do with improving the well-being of the average Hoosier. Let’s look at some sad realities:

•           College is less affordable than ever for working families.

•           Our infant mortality rate is the 2nd worst in the country, and our overall health factors are ranked 41st in the nation.

•           Many of our public schools struggle to pay for basic services like transportation.

•           We remain one of the few states without a fully funded pre-kindergarten program.

•           The CHOICE program maintains a waiting list of over 3,000 people.

•           Unlike nearly every other state in the nation, families who adopt special needs children from the state don’t get help from the state for their care.

•           While the Republicans continue to lower taxes for businesses, the average Hoosier worker’s income goes down and their tax burden goes up.

“What’s the governor’s plan for the surplus? More tax breaks for businesses? Another $50 taxpayer refund? The governor has failed to provide a clear vision for how this surplus can benefit all Hoosiers.

“The bottom line should be about the overall well-being of Indiana’s citizens, not just money in the bank.  At a time when we should be investing in Indiana to improve the abysmal state of Hoosier’s incomes and health, we are hoarding hard-earned taxpayer’s dollars instead of returning it to them with meaningful programs and services. It seems we have our priorities wrong.

“Let’s not congratulate ourselves for hoarding tax dollars while so many of those taxpayers continue to struggle.”

Sen. Lanane represents Indiana Senate District 25 includes the portions of Madison and Delaware counties, including the City of Muncie and portions of the City of Anderson. For more information on Sen. Lanane, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit .