Governor Eric J. Holcomb was addressing a joint session of the Indiana General Assembly on Tuesday when he delivered his 2023 State of the State address. Governor Holcomb’s progress report announced record-breaking achievements and focused on three key goals: securing Indiana’s place in the economy of the future, transforming public health delivery statewide, and unprecedented investment in preschool through college and adult education .
“I intend to work even harder than ever over the next two years to continue improving our prospects for every single person who calls Indiana home. After all, I believe in this state and our people,” Governor Holcomb said.
Governor Holcomb recognized Indiana’s strong fiscal position, which has made it possible to cut taxes, pay down debt and create a pro-business climate that has made the state a pipeline for forward-thinking industries. It also resulted in a record all-time investment of more than $22 billion in committed capital investment in 2022, creating new opportunities across the state like never before. The governor is requesting an additional $500 million in funding for a second round of the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI).
Governor Holcomb announced the acquisition of the abandoned Monon South rail corridor by Floyd, Clark, Washington, Orange and Lawrence counties as part of the Next Level Trails program for conversion to a recreational trail. When complete, the trail will be 62.3 miles long, making it the longest continuous multi-use trail in the state.
“With this kind of momentum and so much more, I am compelled to utter this familiar phrase, ladies and gentlemen, the state of our state is strong and growing,” Gov. Holcomb said.
To improve the delivery of public health services in rural, urban and suburban Indiana, Governor Holcomb is calling for a significant increase in state public health funding, which has been recommended by the Governor’s Public Health Commission. The funds will enable communities to design and implement local initiatives that meet their unique needs.
“While we have accomplished a lot in Indiana, it is evident that we still have more potential to realize,” Governor Holcomb said. “When individuals, communities and businesses stand up, acknowledge their challenges and take steps to reach them next levels They should know that their state is behind them.”
As further support for the governor’s commitment to creating a brighter future for Hoosiers, he continues to seek unprecedented investment in education. Gov. Holcomb will seek the state’s largest investment to date in supporting K-12 instruction, with a raise of more than $1.1 billion to give schools the resources to reward educators. He is working to fulfill the state constitution’s promise of free public education by attempting to ban textbook and curriculum fees paid by Hoosier parents. The governor will increase tuition for higher education and provide funding for adult education opportunities to provide all citizens with the tools they need to thrive from childhood through adulthood.
“I call on the Legislature to support a $184 million increase in funding for higher education and support the Commission for Higher Education’s proposal to reward our top-ranked universities for keeping their graduates in our state,” said Governor Holcomb. “Ultimately, Indiana college campuses need to be the epicenters of brain gain, not brain drain.”
Gov. Holcomb also called for major investments to increase school safety grants by 30%, increase the starting salary for the Indiana State Police to $70,000 a year, and provide funding for firefighter training and protective equipment.
Each year, at the beginning of the legislature, the Governor of Indiana addresses both houses of the state Legislature, the Justices of the State Supreme Court, and other heads of state in the State of the State Address. It provides the governor with an opportunity to report on the state of affairs of the state, highlighting key achievements of the past year and outlining key priorities for the year ahead.
The video and text of Governor Holcomb’s 2023 State of the State Address can be viewed by clicking HERE.