Holcomb Gives 'Halftime' Report

Posted: Updated:
Governor Holcomb visited mutliple employers in northern Indiana during his visit. Governor Holcomb visited mutliple employers in northern Indiana during his visit.
SOUTH BEND -

As the 2017 Legislative Session crosses its midpoint, Governor Eric Holcomb is providing an update on his priorities for the General Assembly. During a presentation hosted by the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce Friday, Holcomb discussed issues including long-term road funding, expanded pre-kindergarten and work force.

He said a better connection between the education and the needs of employers is "just something we have to get right." Holcomb also said "we have to do everything we can to attract the talent, grow the talent here," the governor said as he talked about efforts to keep high tech and highly-skilled employees in Indiana. Holcomb complimented the colleges throughout the state, saying business leaders have told him that talent can be hired right out of college and groomed for next generation jobs. He added that high-paying jobs aren't all located in central Indiana, saying 55 percent of them are elsewhere in the state.

The total amount the state will pay for future road and bridge maintenance and construction continues to be at or near the top of the list for leading state lawmakers this budget-writing session. Holcomb says he is open to all options for funding. Last month, the House approved House Bill 1002, which includes gas tax and vehicle registration increases, new fees on electric vehicle owners and provisions to begin the process of opening up highways to future tolling. In January, Holcomb submitted a $32 billion proposed budget, which included a request for $10 million to fund expansion of the South Shore rail line in the northwest part of the state. During his presentation Friday, Holcomb called the project "a real area of promise" and urged action.

Holcomb renewed his call for expanded pre-kindergarten and argued for making the superintendent of public instruction position, which is currently an elected position, a job appointed by the governor.

During the event, Holcomb discussed progress in the "five pillars" of his Next Level Agenda:

  • Make Indiana a jobs magnet.
  • Fund a long-term plan for roads and bridges.
  • Prepare a skilled and ready 21st-century workforce.
  • Attack the state’s drug epidemic.
  • Deliver great government service.

Watch video of the presentation:

Governor Eric Holcomb said a better connection between the education and the needs of employers is "just something we have to get right."
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