Lilly Leads Early Education Charge

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Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) is leading a private sector effort to support early childhood education. The drug maker is committing $2 million of its own money and pledging to raise another $8 million for the effort, in support of one aspect of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's long term anti-crime package. However, Lilly cautions funding could be left on the table if the initiative becomes mired in politics. During an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Senior Director of Corporate Responsibility Rob Smith and Director of State Government Affairs Mike O'Connor said the time to act is now. Smith says the commitment to raise money depends on bi-partisan support from local lawmakers.

He says, "It’s time for our elected officials to come together, work through their challengers and differences to get something done."

Mike O'Connor, Lilly's director of state government affairs, says there are multiple ways to get the money.

However, he too warns, "politics must be put aside." O'Connor says, “Some might argue it's financially tough to finance the initiative.” But he believes Lilly might argue, “We cannot afford not to do it."

The city-county council is expected to vote on Ballard's $50 million anti-crime package Sept. 22.

Source: Inside INdiana Business Television