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INDIANAPOLIS – In a one-on-one interview, Gov. Eric Holcomb said he wants to give teachers another raise before he leaves office.

“We’re moving in the right direction,” Holcomb said. “We’re just not there yet. And we have the ability, I think we have the financial wherewithal to continue to make gains.”

In the last budget, Indiana lawmakers approved a $1.9 billion increase for K-12 schools.

Holcomb said he wants the average teacher salary to be $60,000 per year by the time he leaves office.

“It’s almost $57,000… and I said I wanted that goal to be 60 [thousand],” Holcomb said.

Holcomb said teacher pay will be discussed as lawmakers craft a new budget. This will be the final two-year budget Holcomb will oversee before he leaves office.

We also asked Holcomb, who is term-limited, what’s next for his future. Holcomb has previously declined to say whether he’s considering a run for Senate as Sen. Mike Braun (R-Indiana) launches a gubernatorial bid.

“I don’t know,” Holcomb said about his next steps. “I’ve been approached by the philanthropic sector, private sector, public sector, and I don’t want to take my eye off the ball, honestly. I love the job that I have. It’s a privilege, it’s an honor, one that I can hardly see another of this stature and one that I would enjoy as much. And so I’m not going to think about it until I have to think about it.”

Holcomb did not provide a timeline on when he would make a decision about his future after he leaves office.

So far, three candidates are running to succeed Holcomb: Braun, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch (R-Indiana) and Republican businessman Eric Doden.

“I wish them all well,” Holcomb said. “I would encourage and have those who are seeking to affect state policy to share their ideas… I would just encourage them to turn the cards face up and be very transparent about here’s how I’m going to lead.”

In a few weeks, Holcomb will unveil more specifics about his priorities for the new state budget.

As for the state’s near-total ban on abortion, which remains on hold as it heads to the Indiana Supreme Court, we asked Holcomb whether he wants to see the legislature pass new abortion restrictions if the law is struck down next year.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Holcomb said.