U.S. Sen. Mike Braun Won't Support Help For Indiana State Budget

Sep 15, 2020

Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) says he’ll be “disappointed” if the federal government provides any financial support for state and local government budgets in future COVID-19 relief packages. (FILE PHOTO: Tyler Lake/WTIU)

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) says he’ll be “disappointed” if the federal government provides any financial support for state and local government budgets in future COVID-19 relief packages.

State budget officials project Indiana will have a $1 billion hole in its budget by the end of the current fiscal year, even with the state’s significant financial reserves. They’ve repeatedly asked for federal help, including by loosening restrictions on existing federal CARES Act funding.

That’s in part why the state still hasn’t spent more than half of that money – although that’s not what Braun thinks.

“I think we’re sitting on all the money that was given to us by the federal government because we have not had to use it,” Braun said.

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Braun was asked directly why he doesn’t support the kind of help Gov. Eric Holcomb and state officials have requested.

“We will make it through it based upon how we’ve lived our life in a responsible way, as a state government,” Braun said.

The governor has already cut higher education funding and asked state agencies to slash their budgets by 15 percent.

Braun said he doesn't support further COVID-19 federal relief that goes beyond what the Senate GOP passed last week.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.