Gov. Holcomb lays out vision for 2018

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Gov. Eric Holcomb (R-IN) laid out where Hoosiers stand in the annual State of the State Address and what he hopes to accomplish over the next year

In his second State of the State address, Holcomb made it clear while he wants to continue to focus on bringing jobs to Indiana and on filling the jobs already in Indiana.

“Right now, we have 85,000 jobs in Indiana unfilled because employers can’t find the people equipped with the skills they need,” Holcomb said during the address. “And add in the IDEC’s 30,000 new jobs, with even more on the way this year. Not to mention the more than one million jobs to be filled over the next 10 years as baby boomers retire.”

Holcomb said the key to that is education.

By 2019, Holcomb wants to increase the number of work-based internships and apprenticeships in the state from 12,000 to 50,000. He also wants to create a new Education to Career Pathways cabinet to drive legislation and funding for this plan.

Far outside the classroom, Holcomb’s speech also touched on the opioid crisis in Indiana, and how he plans to fight it.

“We’re moving forward to require Indiana physicians to use INSPECT before ever issuing an opiod prescription,” Holcomb said. “We’ll seek to increase the number is opioid treatment locations from 18 to 27, so nearly everyone in the state will be less than an hour’s drive to treatment.”

Democratic leaders slammed parts of the speech saying some of it missed the mark and fell flat.

House Minority Leader Terry Goodin (D-66th) was disappointed in Holcomb’s approach to fighting the opiod crisis.

“As far as boldness and leadership, I thought it lacked both of those,” Goodin said. “He specifically talked about the opioid problem, a couple of the areas where they were going to try to curb that. I was truly disappointed to not hear the word mental heath in any of that sentence.”

Indiana Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D-25th) thought Holcomb’s ideas fall flat.

“I guess I was expecting more of a bold vision or a bold idea in terms of what do we need to do the workforce system in the state of Indiana,” Lanane said. “Clearly what we’re going right now just isn’t working.”

Republican leaders applauded the Governor’s stance on issues like the opioid crisis and the Department of Child Services.

“As most of you are aware, we’ve already scheduled for immediately upon the publication of the circulation of the DCS consultants report a special meeting of the legislative council to discuss on that after members have have had a time to digest it that’s precisely what governor ought to be doing,” House Speaker Brian Bosma said.

Holcomb said in his address he will conduct a transparent review of the state’s Department of Child Services.