INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Governor-elect Eric Holcomb unveiled a legislative agenda to lead the state into a prosperous future with five pillars to grow our state’s economy, prepare a 21st Century workforce, invest in roads in bridges, attack the drug epidemic, and deliver great government service.
“Heading into my first legislative session as Indiana’s Governor, the guiding principle that shapes my agenda is to improve the lives of Hoosiers from all walks of life,” said Governor-elect Eric Holcomb. “This agenda will achieve that by focusing on the issues that affect Hoosiers most, and I look forward to working with the Indiana’s General Assembly to advance this plan to take our state to the Next Level.”
Summary: Five Pillars of Indiana’s 2017 Next Level Legislative Agenda
- Cultivate a strong and diverse economy by growing Indiana as a magnet for jobs.
- Pass an honestly balanced budget.
- Maintain the state’s reserve funds at prudent levels.
- Invest $1Billion to make Indiana an innovation hub over the next 10 years.
o Convert the Next Generation Fund to the Next Level Indiana Fund to include high-growth early stage and mid-sized Indiana companies.
o Seek Venture Capital Investment transferability to attract investors around the world.
o Continue appropriations to the support the following:
- The 21 Fund for investments in variety of Indiana companies
- Indiana Biosciences Research Institute
- The Regional Cities program
o Create a new innovation and entrepreneurship grant to support programs and partnerships with higher education institutions and communities.
- Create a 20-year plan to fund roads and bridges.
- Funding options include:
o Fuel taxes
o Index fuel taxes to inflation
o Creative public private partnerships
o New tolling options
o Fees for alternative-fuel vehicles
- The Next Level plan for roads and bridges will:
o Fully maintain our existing roads and bridges
o Finish what we started by completing major projects.
o Invest in new projects for the future that will enhance our state’s connectivity and protect our motorists.
- Other infrastructure priorities include:
o Provide new roads funding for local governments.
o Encourage federal dollar swap for local projects.
o Create a double track on the South Shore Line.
o Incentivize more direct flights.
o Create a water infrastructure safety and reliability data hub through the Management Performance Hub.
- Develop a 21st Century skilled and ready workforce.
- Appoint a Secretary of Education beginning in 2021.
- Double the state’s investment in pre-kindergarten.
- Create a grant program that will fully fund adults who earn credentials, certificates and degrees in high demand, high-wage fields.
- Support greater digital connectivity for Hoosier students to achieve academic success by increasing state funding for the E-Rate federal match program and expanding broadband, Wi-Fi, and communications services for schools and libraries.
- Align STEM efforts throughout Indiana’s K-12 programs to create the greatest benefit for the greatest number of students.
- Attack the drug epidemic.
- Create a position within the Governor’s Office dedicated to attacking the epidemic: an executive director for substance abuse prevention, treatment and enforcement.
- Give local officials the authority to establish syringe exchange programs.
- Enhance prevention by limiting controlled substance prescriptions and refills.
- Enhance penalties for those who commit pharmacy robberies.
- Deliver great government service.
- Modernize the outdated state Department of Revenue computer system
- Raise pay for Indiana State Police
- Upgrade Indiana State Police labs to better monitor and control drug activities.
- Analyze waste, fraud and abuse in Indiana’s Medicaid and unemployment insurance programs to find efficiencies and find cost savings for taxpayers.
- Honor and support Hoosier veterans with by exempting military pensions from the state income tax.
- Expand the nurse-family partnership to combat infant mortality.
Governor-elect Eric Holcomb will be sworn in as Indiana’s 51st Governor on Monday, January 9 in an 11 a.m. ceremony at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.