INDIANAPOLIS — The state of Indiana is expecting nearly six billion dollars from the latest stimulus package according to preliminary estimates.
Lawmakers said they’re still figuring out how that might impact the two-year budget expected to pass this session.
According to estimations, $5.87 billion is coming to Indiana from the federal government.
“We are certainly not going to turn that federal money down,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray.
He said they’re waiting for clarity on what it’s allowed to be spent on and when they’ll get it.
“I’m happy to say our revenue is doing pretty well and Indiana has proven to be very resilient,” said Bray.
Despite that good news, some aren’t seeing the help they’ve been asking for, like food banks.
Eleven food banks throughout the state have been sharing the same $300,000 from Indiana since 2009.
The pandemic caused a massive increase in food insecurity so, food banks need more funding.
“What we’ve seen our members do in response is having to expand cooler space, refrigerator space, investing in more trucks,” said Emily Weikert Bryant the Executive Director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.
She emphasized any Hoosiers struggling with food insecurity right now should seek help by calling 2-1-1 or clicking here.
Then there’s the Citizen’s Action Coalition of Indiana which helps advocate for Hoosiers paying for bills like energy, wastewater and internet.
“Every year we have broadband bill, broadband bill, broadband bill so let’s get it done!” said CAC Executive Director Kerwin Olson. “There’s money out there available.”
Olson wants Indiana to create a state level sustainable program designed to help utility customers with their bills, like other states.
“Rather than always funding folks in crisis, let’s find a way to keep folks out of crisis,” said Olson. “To make sure that they can afford their bills on an ongoing monthly basis.”
As for legislative leadership, nothing is decided yet. They expect to pass the budget before session ends April 29.
“This money will be used as best it can to really be specifically directed at the places in our state that need it the most,” said Bray.
The Indiana Governor’s Office said preliminary estimates have $3 billion of the latest stimulus going to the state, $2.6 billion going to local government, and $200 million for the state capital projects fund.