Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb

Gov. Holcomb’s 3rd State of the State highlights teacher pay, workforce progress in 2019

INDIANAPOLIS – Governor Eric J. Holcomb on Tuesday delivered his 2019 State of the State address to a joint convention of the Indiana General Assembly. While maintaining his focus on five key pillars, the governor’s remarks highlighted his commitment to improving teacher pay and developing a skilled, ready workforce.

“Making the lives of Hoosiers better today while building for the future has been – and will remain – my focus,” Gov. Holcomb said.

As a part of the governor’s effort to make teacher pay competitive with surrounding states, he proposed paying off a pension liability that schools currently pay. This state investment will save all local schools $140 million over the next biennium with continued savings in the years following.

Additionally, Gov. Holcomb announced the creation of the Next Level Teacher Pay Commission – chaired by Hoosier businessman and community leader Michael L. Smith – to identify resources that can be made available to improve teacher compensation and develop a blueprint for implementation read to act on by the 2021 legislative session.

“Once again, Indiana will show the way we solve challenging issues: together,” Gov. Holcomb said.

Gov. Holcomb also celebrated accomplishments and focused on next steps for each of the five pillars outlined in his Next Level Agenda.

  1. Cultivate a strong and diverse economy: Operate within an honestly balanced budget, protect our Triple-A credit rating, and keep 11 percent in reserves.
  2. Maintain and build the state’s infrastructure: Accelerate I-69 and regional road projects, invest in broadband, and make Indianapolis the Midwest destination for international flights.
  3. Develop a 21st century skilled and ready workforce: Ensure all Hoosiers have the tools they need to find meaningful work and careers. Expand the Next Level Jobs initiative and help more high school students earn postsecondary credentials before they graduate.
  4. Strengthen public health and attack the drug epidemic: Adopt recommendations from 2018 school safety report, implement Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group’s recommendations, and improve access to quality treatment, expand recovery housing and provide better services for pregnant women who are substance dependent.
  5. Deliver great government service: Modernize state government to better serve citizens and businesses, which includes passing bias crimes legislation.

Each year, Indiana’s governor addresses both houses of the state legislature, the state’s Supreme Court Justices, and other state leaders at the beginning of the legislative session in the State of the State Address. It provides an opportunity for the governor to report on the status quo of the state’s affairs, highlight key accomplishments of the past year, and outline key priorities for the year ahead.

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