State Senator Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen), Chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, made the following statement Wednesday afternoon regarding the fiscal year closeout:

“As Auditor of State Tera Klutz announced today, the fiscal closeout statement demonstrates Indiana’s ability to thrive despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is clear that our years of exercising fiscal discipline are paying off for Indiana and our taxpayers.

“Due to the robust state of the economy, Indiana is able to end the state fiscal year with strong reserve levels, make an additional investment in our pension liabilities and provide a taxpayer refund.

“In our new state budget, we were able to make a sizable down payment to our state’s pension obligations to the tune of $600 million. Combine that with the more than $500 million that will now be going toward our state’s pension funds, and we have paid down more than $1 billion in pension debt alone – a truly remarkable accomplishment. Further, if the current fiscal plan holds, we could be looking at another nearly $700 million going to pensions at the end of 2022. These kinds of investments may not sound particularly exciting, but the real-world effect is that we are taking care of Hoosiers now while creating substantial financial freedom and flexibility for our state in the future, and that’s the kind of fiscal policy I believe is right for Indiana.”