Indiana Republican legislative leaders aren’t totally sold on Gov. Eric Holcomb’s proposal to spend nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars this year to pay down state debt instead of direct relief for Hoosiers struggling during the pandemic.
Holcomb’s proposal would spend $702 million out of budget reserves this year to pay down debt on capital projects, highway construction and a teacher retirement fund. That frees up money in the future, long a priority for Republicans.
Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said it’s nice to be able to have that kind of debate in a year when so many other states are struggling financially.
“Trying to make sure that we get Hoosiers back on their feet and help those that are really struggling is going to continue, of course, to be a priority,” Bray said.
House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said spending reserve dollars needs to be a balance.
“We’re going to lean in to supporting our small business partners," Huston said. "We’re going to lean in to supporting our law enforcement agencies.”
House Republicans will soon propose spending $180 million this year for small business assistance and summer learning programs.