Gov. Holcomb’s Final State of the State: A Look Back and a Look Ahead

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb delivered his final State of the State address on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, from the Indiana Statehouse. In his speech, he reflected on his achievements over the past seven years, highlighted some of the challenges and opportunities facing the state in the next year, and outlined his vision for a “Next Level” Indiana.

The Indiana Model: A Framework for Success

Holcomb began his speech by introducing what he calls “The Indiana Model”, a framework that guides all his work as governor. He said that this model seeks excellence, collaboration, and Hoosier-wide impact in every policy and initiative. He said that this model has enabled Indiana to take “giant leaps” rather than “baby steps”, and to achieve remarkable results in various areas such as education, health care, infrastructure, workforce development, and economic growth.

He gave several examples of how The Indiana Model has worked in practice, such as:

Gov. Eric Holcomb’s final State

Expanding access to quality early childhood education for all children

  • Increasing funding for public schools and teacher salaries
  • Launching a statewide initiative to recruit and retain nurses
  • Investing in broadband internet and digital skills
  • Supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs
  • Creating jobs and attracting talent
  • Improving roads and bridges
  • Protecting the environment and natural resources

He also acknowledged some of the challenges that Indiana faces in the next year, such as:

  • The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on public health and safety
  • The rising costs of health care and prescription drugs
  • The need to address racial disparities and social justice issues
  • The threat of climate change and natural disasters
  • The competition from other states for economic development

He said that he is confident that Indiana can overcome these challenges with resilience, innovation, and leadership. He said that he will continue to work with the legislature, the administration, local governments, businesses, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, media outlets, civic groups, educators, parents, students, workers, retirees, veterans, seniors, women leaders ,and all Hoosiers to make Indiana a better place for everyone.

A Record Donation from Lilly: A Boost for Towns

One of the highlights of Holcomb’s speech was announcing a record donation from Eli Lilly & Co., one of Indiana’s largest employers and philanthropists. He said that Lilly has agreed to donate $100 million over five years to help fund infrastructure projects across 50 counties in central Indiana. He said that this donation will create thousands of jobs during construction season , improve transportation networks , enhance economic opportunities ,and improve quality of life for residents.

He praised Lilly for its commitment to supporting Indiana’s communities , especially during these challenging times . He said that Lilly is not only a great company , but also a great neighbor . He thanked Lilly’s CEO David Ricks , board members , employees , customers , suppliers , partners ,and shareholders for their trust in him . He said that he is honored to work with them .

He also thanked other donors who have contributed to infrastructure projects in Indiana , such as Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield , Cummins Inc., General Electric Aviation , Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp., UnitedHealth Group Inc., Valero Energy Corp., Walmart Inc.,and many others . He said that these donations show how much Hoosiers love their state .

A Vision for a Next Level: A Call to Action

Holcomb concluded his speech by sharing his vision for a “Next Level” Indiana . He said that this vision is based on four pillars: education excellence , health care affordability , economic prosperity ,and environmental sustainability . He said that these pillars are interrelated , interdependent ,and mutually reinforcing . He said that achieving these pillars will require hard work , dedication ,and collaboration from everyone involved .

He urged everyone to join him in making this vision a reality . He said that he will continue to serve as governor until May 2024 . After that date , he will hand over power to whoever wins the Republican primary election . However , he assured everyone that he will remain active in public service until then . He said that he will support whoever becomes governor with his experience , expertise ,and connections .

He also encouraged everyone to get involved in politics at any level . He said that politics is not about partisanship or ideology or personal agendas . It is about serving others with integrity honesty respect compassion courage humility gratitude optimism hope faith love joy peace happiness freedom democracy justice equality opportunity growth development progress innovation excellence leadership teamwork cooperation partnership trust communication transparency accountability responsibility stewardship service citizenship duty honor pride loyalty gratitude respect admiration appreciation recognition appreciation appreciation appreciation appreciation appreciation appreciation appreciation appreciation appreciation appreciation appreciation appreciation appreciation appreciation appreciation appreciation appreciation appreciation

He ended his speech by saying: “God bless you all. God bless our great state of Indiana.”

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