TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announced his 2020 Next Level Agenda in Terre Haute on Tuesday. He has high hopes for the sate, and that includes the Wabash Valley.
There are five pillars he announced. They are strengthing a diverse economy, improving Hoosier health, building a strong infrastructure, workforce and education, and good government. You can learn more about the pillars here.
It details several ideas and goals for the Hoosier State. Overall, Holcomb is excited about Indiana's future and very happy about the way Terre Haute specifically is trending. "The state of Indiana is growing in a lot of areas but there's something different going on right now in the Wabash Valley and Terre Haute is the hub of it all," he said.
Here are some of the highlights from Tuesday.
First, Holcomb discussed cultivating a strong and diverse economy. He wants to elevate Indiana's profile inside and out of the state.
Next is maintaining and building the state's infrastructure. This includes building, preserving, and enacting hands-free device driving laws to promote safer driving. The Governor also wants to extend broadband to unserved areas in Indiana. This details finishing a $190 million investment in broadband and trails. He also spoke about deploying $436 million for water quality.
Holcomb also talked about developing a skilled and ready workforce. This is where he really dove into speaking about education reform in the state.
Holcomb first explained we need to support the Teacher Compensation Commission in making teacher pay more competitive with neighboring states. Next, he said they must eliminate unnecessary requirements in 2021. This includes changing career-related teacher professional growth points from required to optional.
The Governor said they are moving toward holding schools harmless for ILEARN scores across the state. He believes everyone is in universal agreement on this and it should not be an issue.
Overall, he believes teachers have a lot on their plate and he wants his administration to alleviate some of those extra duties they are trying to perform.
He also spoke about raising the smoking and vaping age to 21 and enhancing enforcement. He called the Public Health pillar the most "hefty" out of the five.
Overall, Holcomb acknowledges that there is a lot of progress to be made not only in this session but next.