In the past decade, Indiana has become a national leader in fiscal responsibility and putting taxpayers first. Auditor of State Tera Klutz recently announced the state ended Fiscal Year 2017 with a $42 million surplus and nearly $1.8 billion in reserves, showing Indiana continues to be on the right track for a successful future.
These additional funds serve an important purpose in protecting taxpayers. Just as a family or business must set aside savings for an unexpected emergency, Indiana must do the same to avoid a strain on state government services in the event of an economic downturn. With our healthy reserves in place, Indiana will be able to continue to fund necessary government services like education and Medicaid while the economy recovers, if necessary.
These numbers also demonstrate Indiana’s budgetary discipline. Every two years, the Indiana General Assembly passes a budget to fund Hoosiers’ top priorities. Adjustments are made if revenues and expenditures do not go according to plan, ensuring we live within our means and keep our state on the right track.
Based on our fiscal state, Hoosier taxpayers can be confident lawmakers take Indiana’s finances seriously and work hard to ensure our dollars are managed wisely.
These accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. U.S. News and World Report named Indiana’s government the best in the nation based on our budget transparency, fiscal stability, state integrity and government digitalization. This fiscal strength has led to several economic successes as well.
Indiana’s unemployment rate in June was the lowest it has been since October 2000. At just 3 percent, we continue to outrank our neighboring states, with Michigan at 3.8 percent, Illinois at 4.7 percent, Ohio at 5 percent and Kentucky at 5.1 percent. Indiana also remains well below the 4.4 percent national average.
Since last year alone, Indiana’s unemployment rate has fallen 1.5 percent, making it the second-largest decrease in the United States.
These recent developments are great news for our state. With the number of employed Hoosiers on the rise, I am confident our economy will continue to thrive and grow.