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State Auditor Candidate Questions Indiana Fiscal Integrity

Democratic state auditor candidate Michael Claytor says the state's 'fiscal integrity' has been built by unnecessarily padding the state’s reserves.

Michael Claytor is the Democratic opponent of current State Auditor Suzanne Crouch.

Photo: Brandon Smith, IPBS

Michael Claytor is the Democratic opponent of current State Auditor Suzanne Crouch.

Indiana will close the books Monday on the fiscal year that ended June 30 when State Auditor Suzanne Crouch updates Hoosiers on how the state’s revenues performed.

But Crouch’s Democratic opponent in this fall’s election is accusing the Pence administration of “cooking the books.”

Indiana tax collections struggled for much of the fiscal year, prompting Pence to cut state agency and university budgets and even sell one of the state planes.

As revenues rebounded the last few months, the governor repeatedly said the state would end the fiscal year with a budget surplus of $100 million and reserves near $2 billion.

Pence calls Indiana the fiscal envy of the nation.

“I’m very, very proud of the efforts that we’ve made in our administration to manage Indiana’s resources in a fiscally responsible way and I really do believe that our fiscal integrity is the foundation of our prosperity,” Pence says.

But Democratic State Auditor candidate Michael Claytor says that so-called “fiscal integrity” has been built by unnecessarily padding the state’s reserves. A former public accountant, Claytor says Pence should use some of the reserve money to more fully fund programs such as the special needs adoption subsidy.

“When I’m state auditor, I will not support putting the state’s fund balance ahead of the needs of Indiana’s most vulnerable citizens,” Claytor says.

Claytor says the reserve balance Pence and Crouch will trumpet also doesn’t take into account payments the state will likely have to make in the future, such as a payout in its lawsuit with IBM.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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