INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (AP) – All times local.
Indiana Democratic leaders say Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb failed to provide boldness or leadership in his State of the State speech toward fixing the state’s problems.
Holcomb said in his Tuesday night speech that a transparent review of the state’s troubled Department of Child Services would be carried out, but didn’t detail any plans. His former child welfare chief resigned last month, saying the agency was beset by service cuts amid a surge in caseloads fueled by the opioid epidemic.
House Democratic leader Terry Goodin of Austin says it doesn’t seem that Holcomb and other Republican leaders grasp the seriousness of lives being in danger from the child agency’s troubles.
Democrats say they aren’t satisfied with waiting for months for a report about the agency.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is pledging in his State of the State speech to conduct what he calls a transparent review of the state’s troubled Department of Child Services.
But the Republican governor is offering no details in Tuesday night’s speech about any steps he plans to take about an agency that his critics say is enveloped in crisis.
Holcomb says in his prepared remarks that he’ll do whatever is necessary to ensure the agency’s success.
Holcomb’s administration has struggled over the past month to respond to allegations made by his former child welfare chief who described an agency beset by service cuts and management changes amid a surge in caseloads fueled by the opioid epidemic.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is set to deliver his second state of the state speech.
The Republican will address a joint audience of the Indiana House and Senate on Tuesday evening.
The speech offers a high-profile opportunity to outline a vision for the coming year.
Holcomb has made improving Indiana’s workforce a major theme. The state has long been a manufacturing powerhouse, but experts say many workers lack the skills needed for jobs of the future.
More recently, troubles at the Indiana Department of Child Services have cast a shadow. The agency’s former director Mary Beth Bonaventura resigned in December accusing Holcomb’s administration of service cuts that will harm children.
It’s unclear if he will use the occasion to address issues at the agency.
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