INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s annual State of the State address is a virtual event this year rather than delivered before the typical joint session of the General Assembly.
Holcomb had been planning to give the speech before a small audience at the Statehouse in observing COVID-19 precautions. But that was called off when he announced the closure of the Statehouse until Thursday because of possible protests related to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
A big focus of Holcomb’s speech was teacher pay. He is proposing 377 million dollars be invested into K-12 schools. “When not if, when we do this we will be on of the best in the Midwest for teacher pay,” said Holcomb.
It is a move that Democrats are calling “small” and “A one time payment” rather than a long term solution. “This is the third state of the state of the state in a row that I have heard the governor make promises to Hoosier educators that an increase in pay is on the way,” said Phil GiaQuinta, House Democratic Leader.
Holcomb also discussed efforts that will give grants to businesses across the state who are struggling. “That is why our Indiana Economic Development Corporation will continue to build and allocate a targeted grant recovery resources so these businesses and people can build bridges to the other side of these tough times,” said Holcomb.
The state will also work with cities to “develop strategies designed to improve quality of place, advanced industry sector development, and grow workforce development initiatives among regions and educators and employers and our states workforce.”
The televised State of the State speech comes a week after Holcomb took the oath of office for his second term.