Brian Miller

Senators Mike Braun Todd Young are celebrating the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) decision to back off a proposal to change the federal definition of “city.”OMB instead decided to keep the current  Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) designation in place.

According to the GOP senators, the proposed change would have doubled the population threshold for a city from 50,000 to 100,000 people. That designation would have negatively impacted five Indiana cities – Terre Haute, Columbus, Kokomo, Michigan City-LaPorte, and Muncie, according to the senators.

Senators Braun and Young say they have heard from many mayors who would be negatively affected by this decision.  The pair wrote a letter in March, urging OMB to deny the proposal to double the minimum population required for an MSA designation.

The senators also joined a broader bipartisan Senate letter to the OMB.

“Hiking the population threshold to be defined as a city would be a terrible idea, and I’m glad the White House Office of Management and Budget listened to representatives like Senator Young, myself, and several Indiana mayors and backed off this proposal which would have negatively impacted many Indiana cities,” said Senator Braun. “This would have negatively impacted not only the municipalities themselves, but caused a ripple effect for constituents in the broader region that rely on these cities as economic drivers in their areas of the state.”

The proposed change would have excluded Terre Haute, Columbus, Kokomo, Michigan City-LaPorte, and Muncie from the important designation. The senators argue it would make it more difficult for these communities to receive federal resources for housing, transportation, and health care.