The state’s newest two-year budget was approved this spring, and Indiana ended up with $2.3 billion in extra money. That’s right; Indiana has over two billion in taxpayer dollars just sitting in the bank unused and untouched.
In the meantime, Indiana holds the top spot for a very unflattering statistic. Our state has the slowest teacher salary growth in the nation – dead last in salary growth since 2002. In 2009, former governor Mitch Daniels cut over $300 million in public school funding. When adjusting for inflation, this year’s state budget still does not meet where the state should be had that money not been cut. Even still, Indiana is sitting on billions of dollars of your unused money.
You won’t hear about this nonsense from Indiana Republicans, however. Their number one priority isn’t people, but ensuring what they call a balanced budget. But, how can a state budget be balanced when they maintain such a hefty surplus while areas such as public education are consistently underfunded. Here’s an equation that the governor should be able to understand:
$2.3 billion surplus + The slowest teacher salary growth in the nation = An unbalanced budget
The 2019-2020 school year just started for our Hoosier kids and educators. Still, for many teachers, there is no time to prepare lesson plans or tutor their students. Currently, Indiana teachers are working multiple jobs and starting Go Fund Me pages just to get the money to purchase supplies for their classrooms. Yet, our state just ended its fiscal year with $2.3 billion sitting in the bank.
How is it that our state can have so much unused money while our teachers and classrooms have so little?
Here’s where you come in. How would you prefer your tax dollars be spent? Senate Democrats already have a few suggestions supported by Hoosiers like yourself:
- Raise teacher pay
- Pay for necessary classroom supplies
- Fund Lake Michigan beach erosion
- Fix Indiana roads
- Fund the Hoosier State rail line
- Fund direct service providers
- Invest in workforce development
- Fund services to lower infant and maternal mortality
- Provide mandatory adoption subsidies for special needs children
- Expand funding for kindergarten and pre-k
- Invest in mental health services
What else would you like to see your tax dollars invested in? Share your answer at www.indianasenatedemocrats.org/MyTaxDollars