State of the State Indiana

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, center, greets Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane, left, D-Anderson, as he arrives in the House chamber to deliver his State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

KNIGHTSTOWN — Gov. Eric Holcomb will pursue another term as Indiana’s governor in 2020, as announced at the Hoosier Gym in Knightstown on Saturday, with Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch.

“From the economy, to job creation, to infrastructure, to public health, to education, all of the above. We’re making a positive difference in the lives of Hoosiers all over our great state,” Holcomb said in his prepared remarks. “I am Indiana proud — yes, in part because of our heritage. Yes, in part, because of the progress we’ve made over the last decade-plus and where that has us heading in the decade to come.”

Holcomb boasted that by “Putting People First,” Indiana’s economy had improved with higher wages and lower unemployment to be the “best in the Midwest.”

“We’re not just competing with the biggest, most populated or coastal states. We’re beating them,” Holcomb said. “And we’re going to keep on winning, because Indiana provides certainty, stability, predictability and aspirational continuity — exactly what the pro-growth career creators crave.”

Workforce training, a consistent message throughout Holcomb’s term, would expand to allow incarcerated Hoosiers to get more opportunities, such as a woman who trained to be a welder behind bars.

Holcomb also spoke about expanding access to opioid addiction services and broadband across the state.

In her introductory remarks, Crouch said that Holcomb’s term as governor had given Indiana better roads and bridges all over the state “like never before.”

“Because of (Holcomb’s) leadership, we are making history every single day,” Crouch said. “Because of (his) leadership, we are taking Indiana to the next level.”

Holcomb asked the Indiana Legislature to consider using $2 billion in reserves for capital improvement and infrastructure projects, rather than borrowing monies following State Auditor Tera Klutz’s report of a budget surplus for fiscal year 2019. Holcomb spoke about the need for continued infrastructure investments on Saturday, such as finishing Interstate 65 and improving Highway 31.

As of the end of June, Holcomb’s campaign announced it had more than $6 million in cash on hand just halfway through Holcomb’s third year in office.

Holcomb won the 2016 election after 10 months as lieutenant governor under former Gov. Mike Pence, who dropped out of the 2016 election to be President Donald Trump’s running mate.

John Zody, the chair of the Indiana Democratic Party, remained critical of Holcomb, saying that the campaign hadn’t fulfilled its promise to “Put People First.”

“We certainly have pushback because we believe that Indiana could be in a better place than it is,” Zody said.

Zody highlighted low teacher salaries throughout the state, a lack of protections for LGBT+ Hoosiers, gerrymandering throughout the state and “schools that have less money today than they did 10 years ago.”

“(There are) teacher testimonials on how educators are struggle to make ends meet in this state,” Zody said. “We think that Governor Holcomb showed that his priorities don’t align with Indiana.”

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