INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WLFI)- Governor Eric Holcomb says a sharp drop in state revenue was reported in April and now the state is prepared for a continued decline due to COVID-19. Holcomb wants the State Budget Agency to reduce budgets by 15 percent for the fiscal year of 2021. Each state agency will put together a strategic plan for the management of their budget, prioritizing the programs, they offer. The programs that have the largest impact on Hoosiers will become the highest priority.
When asked if the Higher Education or K-12 would see a reduction in their budget. Cris Johnston the Director of the Indiana Office of Management and Budget said as the situation evolves all areas of the state budget will be considered.
“Everything is on the table I believe, and we will be looking at Higher Education and K-12," said Johnston.
SBA already has initiated actions to reduce spending for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. Cost savings measures were instituted in April to review operations, space, travel, hiring, and many other areas for savings.
The Governor says there will be no reduction in essential services and that they won't do anything that is counterproductive to their COVID-19 response.
However, in addition to the state agency reversions, Gov. Holcomb said the state would not move forward or put on hold several previously announced projects:
• Use of $291 million in reserves to pay for several capital projects approved in the 2020 legislative session. Bonding authority may be used to move forward with those projects later
• Approximately $65 million in Next Level Trails grants
• $110 million of deferred maintenance projects, including $70 million for state parks
“By taking immediate action to tighten our belts across state government, we will maintain maximum flexibility to navigate a still very uncertain economic picture. All options are on the table, and as we approach tax filing deadlines and better understand all of the federal funds available to Indiana, we will make more precise adjustments ahead of crafting a budget for next biennium,” Gov. Holcomb said.