Breaking News

Holcomb talks well being, schooling in end-of-year interview | Statehouse

Public well being and schooling investment have been a number of the subjects Gov. Eric Holcomb sat down to talk about Wednesday.

Holcomb talked at duration about well being care, each public and his personal non-public well being scare, on a Zoom name.

The governor was once hospitalized with pneumonia for 2 nights after going to the physician believing he had the flu. Holcomb mentioned he favored the care he gained and that he was once a excellent affected person.

He additionally mentioned the revel in confirmed him firsthand the consequences of the so-called tripledemic: RSV, COVID-19 and the flu.

“I’ve instructed a large number of other family and friends that it shouldn’t take getting ill to be reminded of the implausible caregivers that we’ve got,” Holcomb mentioned. “I simply watched – I imply, it’s a hectic time. There’s RSV, and influenza A, and flu typically and COVID all swirling round.”

As for whether or not any statewide COVID restrictions may just go back – one thing the governor has confronted intra-party opposition over up to now – Holcomb mentioned the ones methods of preventing the pandemic are within the rearview reflect. Alternatively, the state continues to trace the consequences of the virus each day.

“We’re in a far other position,” Holcomb mentioned. “It’s nonetheless to be taken critically. You pass from a plague to a virulent disease, and there’ll be ebbs and flows, however we understand how to manner this.”

The wheels aren’t on the subject of falling off, Holcomb mentioned, however he stated the virus is continuous to have an effect on companies and colleges.

“You gotta deal with it as critical as it’s,” he mentioned.

Public well being

One in every of Holcomb’s largest priorities for the impending consultation in workplace is public well being.

He created a fee to review the problem closing yr, and that fee issued its file this previous summer season.

“We’ve had the similar more or less governance, structurally, and operations in position for a century or extra,” he mentioned. “We needed to take a recent take a look at it.”

The file, which Holcomb known as “a deeper dive into this factor than I believe has ever been finished,” advisable nearly $250 million in annual spending to handle well being care in a state that ranks poorly in well being metrics around the board.

Alternatively, the Indiana Capital Chronicle reported closing month that Republican leaders on the statehouse aren’t in particular keen about the fee’s proposals or its price ticket, even if Democratic lawmakers have voiced some reinforce.

Holcomb is undeterred, although. He believes funding in public well being will carry advantages each for Hoosiers’ high quality of existence, in addition to for the “high quality of our body of workers.”

“I imply, it’s true: well being is wealth,” he mentioned.

As for the prices, Holcomb mentioned that whilst the fee is a “large quantity to swallow,” the plan isn’t simply “handing any individual a take a look at and hoping it really works out.”

He plans to proceed making the case in prefer of the fee’s suggestions and mentioned he believes lawmakers are open to finding out concerning the plan. The governor additionally needs to “proceed to be persuasive” because the consultation approaches.

“What I’ve heard from legislators, leaders and individuals alike, is a willingness – and reasonably frankly, a need – to be informed extra,” Holcomb mentioned. “As a result of they weren’t on (the fee’s) statewide excursion.”


Whilst Holcomb received’t unlock his complete legislative schedule till Jan. 4, he discussed some other of his best 2023 problems Wednesday: schooling.

The state has made “really extensive growth” underneath his management, Holcomb mentioned, even if there’s nonetheless “far to move.” He cited reasonable instructor pay, which he mentioned has larger from $51,370 in 2017 to $56,660.

Holcomb’s purpose continues to be to boost that reasonable wage to $60,000, one thing he mentioned might be mirrored in his finances proposal subsequent month.

His schooling investment requests received’t be only for instructor pay, although.

“It is going to even be about doubling or tripling down in literacy, and extra STEM,” Holcomb mentioned, “and extra grownup finding out bucks, will increase in post-secondary schooling.”


When requested a couple of fresh survey performed via Ball State’s Bowen Middle that confirmed 56% of Hoosiers imagine marijuana must be legalized for leisure use and some other 29% imagine it must be felony for clinical use handiest, Holcomb reiterated his reluctance relating to legalization.

“That comes from a spot of, it’s unlawful from a federal point of view,” Holcomb mentioned. “I don’t suppose it does somebody any excellent to select and make a choice – actually I believe it does unhealthy – to select and make a choice other regulations to apply or other regulations to forget about.”

If Hoosiers don’t like federal regulations, which lately classify marijuana as an unlawful Agenda 1 drug, Holcomb mentioned they must first take the ones issues up with lawmakers on the nationwide stage.

“I’m prepared to have a dialog about it; I simply need it to be a felony dialog. Like in point of fact felony, now not look-the-other-way felony,” he mentioned. To the vast majority of Indiana citizens who need the ones regulations modified, “you want to touch your federal legislator and you want to modify the legislation so this dialog can also be reputable.”

Finish of time period

With the tip of Holcomb’s time period starting to loom at the horizon, the governor mentioned his option to his ultimate two years within the state’s best possible workplace is to clutch the day.

He needs to carry extra alternatives and jobs to Indiana, he mentioned, to lend a hand Hoosiers “get on a pathway to upward mobility.”

In spite of the state’s demanding situations in issues from habit to toddler and maternal mortality to incarceration, Holcomb believes there’s nonetheless a “massive upside.”

“We’ve were given the folk. We’ve were given the workers’ doable, and we’ve were given the employers that need to rent them,” he mentioned. Holcomb needs to concentrate on expanding the dimensions of present techniques to lend a hand staff achieve extra job-related talents.

Holcomb believes the ones new talents might be important if extra employers come to Indiana from industries – to call a couple of – like semiconductor production, power manufacturing and protection contractors.

“They’re now not $7.25-an-hour jobs,” he mentioned. “They’re $37 or $87 an hour. That’s going to be the place I spend maximum of my time.”