On Tuesday evening, Indiana’s newly inaugurated governor, Eric Holcomb, delivered his first State of the State address to lawmakers and Hoosiers. In the address, Governor Holcomb outlined many of the same priorities he highlighted in his agenda and inauguration speech: job creation, road funding, workforce development, addressing the opioid addiction epidemic and government efficiency. While Sen. Lanane agrees with a number of these priorities, he was critical of the speech due to its lack of details, direction and leadership. The governor did not state his position on raising taxes for Hoosiers at the gas pump and BMV for roads, or mention other pressing issues that Senate Democrats are prioritizing this session such as a bolder investment in early childhood education and redistricting reform. Sen. Lanane and Senate Democrats were also critical of the plan to continue with an eight-year rollout of tax breaks for corporations and financial institutions while expecting working Hoosiers to pay more for roads maintenance. Sen. Lanane noted that he and members of the Senate Democrat caucus have proposed legislation that address many of the things the new governor did not mention or expand on in the State of the State, but will look forward to sitting down with the governor the discuss that issues that important to Hoosiers across the state.
Below you can watch the video coverage of the post-State of the State press conference with Sen. Lanane and House Dmeocrat Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City), as well as read the statement to the press from Sen. Lanane.
INDIANAPOLIS – Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) issued the following statement after Governor Eric Holcomb’s first State of the State address:
“As with most State of the State addresses, we can all agree that this is an opportunity to list our priorities as a state for the next year, and this address is no different.
“We all know that improving our roads, providing funding for K-12 education, and addressing the opioid drug epidemic are key speaking points to include in a speech by a first-time governor.
“He mentioned a number of times that we need to take the state to ‘the next level’ and we need to ‘act with boldness and courage’ to address the state’s needs. Essentially, these are speaking points he made in his inauguration speech without any direction or leadership.
“Instead, he opted to leave these issues in the hands of the legislature and take his hands off the wheel.
“What this address left out is what is most telling. I wish the governor had provided state lawmakers, public officials and constituents with more direction. In a time of great political uncertainty on the federal level, Hoosiers expect their governor to lead on the issues that matter to them.
“I do not think that Hoosiers will accept paying higher taxes at the gas pump while corporations and financial institutions are in the middle of an eight-year tax-rate decrease; or continue with the status quo when it comes to a timid investment in early childhood education; or making elections more fair and competitive with commonsense redistricting reform.
“Further, I do not think 400,000 Hoosiers will accept losing health care coverage due to the administration our former governor chose to leave Indiana to be a part of.
“Members of the Senate Democrat Caucus and I have proposed legislation that address many of the things the new governor did not mention or expand on this evening. I look forward to sitting down with him to discuss the issues that are important to all Hoosiers.”