That “somehow, some way” needs a starting point. Michigan City’s Scott Pelath, leader of the minority Democratic Party in the Indiana House of Representatives, has offered a proposal to help keep 1,000 of the best STEM graduates in the state. It’s a small step, but a good one.
Though the super-majority Republicans rarely forward Democrat-initiated bills in the General Assembly, Pelath’s idea comes straight from the conservative playbook; it features a tax break. He wants Indiana to let those talented products of its colleges live and work here without having to pay any state income tax. In return, they must continue to work and live here for five years.
Of course, as the grads are mulling their possible post-college destinations, a state’s income tax level probably ranks well below potential salary, access to trails and parks, nightlife, and the vitality of local schools. Still, the tax break would show these folks the state wants them to be Hoosiers and is committed to upgrading its communities.
In time, more will want to be Hoosiers, and Indiana will be their wisest choice.
— Tribune-Star, Terre Haute