Holcomb joins 21 governors in opposing state-allocation formula in stimulus package

Holcomb

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has joined 21 other governors in opposing how proposed pandemic relief aid would be allocated to states under President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan.

The governors, led by Republican South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, issued a statement over the weekend criticizing Biden’s plan to allocate most of the aid to states based on the unemployment rate, rather than total population.

The stimulus package, which has passed the U.S. House and is expected to be debated in the U.S. Senate this week, includes $350 billion in direct aid for state and local governments. But unlike previous pandemic-related financial aid sent to states over the past year, most of the funding would be allocated based on unemployment rates. States with higher unemployment rates would receive a bigger share of the money.

Indiana’s unemployment rate was 4.3% in December after peaking at 16.9% in April.

More than 30 states, including Indiana, would receive less funding under this formula than if the aid allocation was based on population, according to the office of Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri, the top Republican on the U.S. House Budget Committee.

According to the projections from Smith’s office, Indiana would receive $881 million less than it would if the allocations were based on population.

The statement from the governors says the formula “punishes states that took a measured approach to the pandemic and entered the crisis with healthy state budgets and strong economies.”

“A state’s ability to keep businesses open and people employed should not be a penalizing factor when distributing funds,” the statement says. “If Congress is going to provide aid to states, it should be on an equitable population basis.”

All but one governor who signed onto the statement is a Republican. The Indiana Democratic Party accused Holcomb of opposing the stimulus package because Biden is a Democrat.

“Governor Holcomb himself said the state is in a strong position, so why is the governor wasting time playing partisan political games when there’s so much work to get done for our families?” Lauren Ganapini, executive director of the Indiana Democratic Party, said in a written statement. “Hoosiers want to see action, and they want to trust that their governor won’t invoke partisanship when it’s time to put the future of Indiana before political rhetoric. So far, Holcomb isn’t passing the test.”

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

9 thoughts on “Holcomb joins 21 governors in opposing state-allocation formula in stimulus package

  1. Let’s look at the content from the statement of Ms. Ganapini: 1)”so why is the governor wasting time playing partisan political games when there’s so much work to get done for our families?” Seems, based on the calculation provided, there are 881 million reasons to question/oppose what is going on PLUS I would guess an additional $881 million in funding for Indiana would obviously get more done for our families (going out on a limb with that guess) 2)”Hoosiers want to see action, and they want to trust that their governor won’t invoke partisanship when it’s time to put the future of Indiana before political rhetoric. So far, Holcomb isn’t passing the test.” The governor IS acting by opposing the allocation as planned. Since the allocation has changed from the previous stimulus package, how is opposing it acting in a partisan way, UNLESS the allocation was changed because of partisanship, WAS that the case? Finally, how does it make any sense, whether you are a Democrat or Republican, to not protest possibly getting $881 million less funding for Indiana? Sounds like Ms. Ganapini is “protesting” too much, which just draws more attention to the absurdity of it, maybe she shouldn’t rush to engage in defensive partisanship. The only person not passing the test here is whoever wrote the statement issue for Ms. Ganapini.

  2. So putting people to work punishes Indiana? Good luck Ms. Ganapini……you can do more with less like everyone else! Maybe everyone should just sit home, collect stimulus and clearly reach a higher unemployment rate so that Biden will give the state more money. Wow.

    1. It’s why I changed political parties years ago. I became tired of the “rob from the rich and give to the poor,” mentality. I can’t understand why the Democratic system, overall, seems to want to punish anyone who has worked hard to be successful and/or to do the right thing. It sickens me every time I hear them say that it’s time for everyone to pay their fair share of taxes. With as much as some working people pay in taxes, at some point, it will make no sense for them to work at all. Anyone who’s worked hard and done well is the bad guy. This article shows the same mentality. Indiana has done its best to keep people working during the pandemic and therefore, will receive less. If Democrats spent as much time encouraging people to work harder and get off the dole as they do wagging their finger at anyone who’s done well, our country would be in a much better place. Why in the world would anyone work hard at anything when there’s a segment of government that will continuously hand you stuff for free for doing nothing. Let’s let all of those who have tried to do their best and worked hard, continue to foot the bill. It’s ridiculous.

    1. The formula makes sense to me. Give to those who need it more. Why should we be rewarded with more money than other states who need the funds to help those who are unemployed. Quit crying Governor.

  3. I totally agree with the governor on this one. State’s that did a better job handling their economy during the pandemic should not be penalized and see some of their fair allocation go towards States that did not handle it as well.

  4. The question is how many people in Indiana are in dire straights needing financial and health assistance? I agree states should not be punished. Hopefully whatever is received Indiana spends it wisely. Upgrading infrastructure, more $$ towards education, aging schools need upgrades in numerous ways including technology, and the IT sector for the state of Indiana needs upgrading. Remember the pandemic site was down for around 3 plus days.
    So concentrate on what can be done. This SHOULD NOT BE PARTISAN!
    There is enough BS from Republicans & Democrats.
    It is so tiring to hear the idiots!!

  5. This isn’t as simple as “State’s who stayed open are being punished”. Some places, like California and New York, have been devastated by Covid-19. Not just because of shutdowns, but also because of the enormous tourism industry. Other than Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana largely does not rely on tourism to drive the economy. If the unemployment rate is so low, that suggests the State shouldn’t need extra money thrown at it. At the same time, I’d like to see a more thorough article that shows which states are getting more funding and which are getting less. I’d also like to see per capita funding numbers, and the percentage increase or decrease in funding for each state. On top of that, I’d like to understand why GOP legislators in Indiana are trying to rob Indianapolis of over $150 million in infrastructure improvements just because they hate mass transit.

    1. More apologetics for the Democratic party from Wesley? Must be a day that ends in Y.

      If we believe the numbers (and we most certainly should doubt them), the states with high death rates run the gamut from ruby-red and lockdown-free and sapphire blue and wear-three-masks. California is not a state with a particularly high COVID death rate, which means it’s not devastated by COVID in the least. But their lockdowns have been among the most stringent in the country–even across the globe. So there’s no evidence of correlation between lockdowns and death rates. Far more powerful is the correlation between lockdowns and high unemployment. Sure, not every state with strict lockdowns has high unemployment based on labor stats, but most do. And most of the states with highest unemployment are still in lockdown–no surprise. So an aid package allocated to unemployment is almost invariably going to be states with stupidly stringent lockdowns–in other words, a payout to the POTUS’s governor buddies from his own political party.

      As others have indicated, Ganapani’s statement here is among the most tone-deaf things ever uttered. So Hoosiers should want “action” and should forfeit $800M of the public trust that they paid into to get that “action”? D’OH!

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets in {{ count_down }} days.