INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said choosing one proudest accomplishment of 2019 isn’t easy.
“That’s like asking you to pick your favorite child,” said Gov. Holcomb.
Holcomb credits Indiana for eliminating the tax on military pensions, passing a hate crime law and making progress on the state’s workforce.
He also talked about the 763 million dollars the state allocated toward education this year.
The Governor said he isn’t afraid waiting to increase teacher pay will cost him the election in 2020.
“I don’t fear, no. We are going to do the right thing,” said Holcomb.
Though his opponents are campaigning on that issue, he said he believes he is doing what it right for educators.
On Thursday, the Indiana State Teachers Association announced it wants 75 million dollars next year for teacher salaries.
Holcomb said waiting until the 2021 budget session will help get Indiana in the top three for teacher pay in the Midwest.
“That Teacher Compensation Commission of which the Teachers Association sits on at the table, they’re going through and they are going to be able to identify, what is that gap? How do we reach that goal?” said Holcomb. “We need to fix this systemically in a sustainable way and you do that with your budget."
Holcomb also touched on a few more of 2019's proudest moments.
“The amount of investment we are making in our infrastructure, in our roads in our rail, in our broadband internet, affordable service,” explained Holcomb. "There's a long list of accomplishments I'm proud of."
When asked about the downside of 2019, Holcomb pointed to those Hoosiers we lost.
“Birch Bayh and Dick Lugar and we lost a Trooper not too long ago," said Holcomb. "And those are gut-wrenching and hard to deal with.”
Holcomb said those people helped us get Indiana to where it is headed in 2020.
“We were a state that was moving forward and making progress before I was sworn in, and all we’ve done is take it to the Next Level," said Holcomb. "We’ve just built on record that were set before me and broke those."
Earlier this week, we outlined Holcomb’s agenda for next year. It includes a law banning hand-held electronic devices while driving, transparency in healthcare prices and raising the age to buy tobacco to 21.