INDIANAPOLIS — AARP Indiana is calling on Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and state leaders to be more transparent and disclose how the state is spending $2.4 billion in CARES Act dollars.
States like Indiana received federal funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help the state recover from the financial impact of the pandemic.
AARP Indiana represents more than 825,000 members and older Hoosiers.
In a letter sent to Holcomb Thursday, AARP Indiana requested the following information be added to the state’s budget website:
- A list of the agencies receiving the funds, the amount each agency is receiving, and a very specific, itemized breakdown of what those funds are being spent on.
- The amounts allocated for each specific program and project.
- Specific allocations made to each local unit of government; and whether the state is holding back money, and if so, how much and for what purpose.
AARP Indiana State Director Sarah Waddle issued the following statement:
“While this health crisis requires the Governor and his administration to act decisively to spend the billions of dollars that Congress has provided, transparency and accountability around how these funds are being spent must remain a priority,” Sarah Waddle, AARP Indiana state director, said. “As we have seen from the release of long-term care data, the more information available to Hoosiers, the more we can do to ensure older Hoosiers’ safety. Whether it is the deaths and isolation among residents of long-term care facilities or the number of Hoosiers seeking access to rental, utility, and mortgage assistance, older Hoosiers and their families are being particularly hard-hit by both the health and financial impacts of this pandemic.”
AARP Indiana also urged Holcomb’s office to consider funding for the following AARP priorities:
- Funding for in-home services to provide people, especially those with underlying health conditions, personal care assistance while under quarantine, help with household chores and grocery shopping, and transportation to essential services (such as grocery stores, banks, or doctors) when necessary.
- Funding to ensure full access to testing and sufficient PPE for staff and residents of long term care facilities.
- Funding for equipment and sufficient staffing to facilitate virtual visitation for residents of long-term care facilities, along with requiring facilities to make video-conferencing or other technologies available for residents and their loved ones.
“It’s important that the additional supports older Hoosiers need to weather and survive this storm are included in further coronavirus relief decisions,” said Waddle.
The governor's office released the following statement in response to the letter from AARP:
"The state has and will continue to be transparent about how CARES Act money is spent. Several materials can be found on the Indiana State Budget Agency website including state correspondence with the federal government and two detailed presentations given by OMB Director Cris Johnston to the Budget Committee. Here is a link: https://www.in.gov/sba/2811.htm"