Holcomb Unveils Teacher Pay Plan in State of The State

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Holcomb delivered the address Tuesday at the Statehouse. Holcomb delivered the address Tuesday at the Statehouse.

Governor Eric Holcomb used his third State of the State address to unveil a plan to increase teacher pay. He called on legislators to use money from the state's reserves to pay off pension liabilities in a move he says will save all local schools $140 million over the next two years, and more in the following years. He says school districts should "allocate 100 percent of the $140 million to increasing teacher paychecks."

In his speech, Holcomb also announced the creation of the Next Level Teacher Pay Commission to find resources that could be used to increase teacher pay. Hoosier businessman Michael L. Smith will chair the commission.

In his response, House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) said the talk about teacher pay "is not being matched by the legislation that is moving through the Indiana House."

Holcomb used the rest of his address to continue pushing his Next Level Agenda. He said legislators should approve a balanced budget that protects that state's Triple-A credit rating and maintains 11 percent in reserves. Holcomb also detailed ongoing infrastructure efforts, including I-69 and other road projects, broadband investment and attracting more international flights.

The governor also called on the state to expand the Next Level Jobs initiative to push for a workforce equipped with next-generation skills. Holcomb said the state also needs to improve access to quality drug abuse treatment and expand recovery housing options. Finally, he reasserted his support for hate crimes legislation.

GiaQuinta says, while he is happy the governor supports a bias crimes bill, he believes Holcomb should "give that speech more forcefully to members of his own party, who are the biggest roadblocks to passage of this legislation."

You can see the full address on the governor's Facebook page.

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