Reaction to Governor Eric Holcomb’s 2020 agenda, while mixed, was positive overall.  Here is what members of  Indiana’s political class had to say…

House Speaker Brian Bosma

  • “Governor Holcomb laid out a strong vision for the coming year and we look forward to working with him and our Senate colleagues to accomplish our shared goals. We agree with his prudent call to use the state’s reserves to pay cash for several capital projects, which will maximize long-term savings. We will also work together to hold teachers and schools harmless from this year’s ILEARN scores, and provide increased price transparency for health care consumers in addition to addressing surprise billing, among other issues.”

Speaker-Elect Todd Huston

  • “Governor Holcomb’s Next Level agenda highlights many of our shared legislative priorities, and we will work together to tackle the issues important to Hoosiers. From investing cash reserves in one-time capital projects with the potential to save the state more than $120 million in interest, to addressing rising health care costs, we have a busy session ahead. Legislators are preparing to hit the ground running, and I’m confident we will deliver on our goals and continue the state’s positive momentum.” 

Senate President Pro Tem Rod Bray

  • “Today the governor unveiled another agenda that provides great leadership and vision for the future of our state, and we look forward to working with Gov. Holcomb and our partners in the House of Representatives on legislative items to help move our state forward. One of the most important topics we will be collaborating on is addressing the cost of health care. We won’t solve this issue overnight, but creating more transparency for health care costs is critical as we work to make progress on this important issue that affects all Hoosiers, and we look forward to getting to work.”

House Democratic Leader Phil Giaquinta

  • “There is much here that deserves full consideration by the General Assembly in the 2020 session. Improving mental health services at our schools and providing health care transparency are issues that House Democrats have supported in the past and will continue to support into the future.  However, as teachers across Indiana made clear on Organization Day, we cannot afford to wait on issues that seriously impact the quality of education provided to young people across Indiana. Yes, we should pursue ‘hold harmless’ legislation, but we also must explore the obsession with testing pursued by this Governor and the Republicans that has led us into this mess. Yes, we should scale back excessive training that hinders a teacher’s ability to do his or her job, but we must also scale back on the Republican obsession with putting unnecessary roadblocks in front of those teachers.”

Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane

  • “Governor Holcomb’s goals for education in Indiana are nothing short of disappointing. He has vowed to continue kicking the can down the road on the issue of teacher salaries and have them wait until 2021 for any sort of answers, good or bad. He boasts of teacher pay raises ignoring that those raises were often due to local referendums, increasing taxes on Hoosiers because the governor didn’t act. Additionally, holding schools harmless from 2018-2019 ILEARN scores merely scratches the surface of the issues surrounding Indiana’s accountability system, without even addressing the problems in that system. We must hold schools harmless as well as decouple teacher evaluations from standardized test scores and ultimately restructure our accountability system for a long-term solution to this continuing issue that monopolizes our students’ time at the expense of learning.”

Kevin Brinegar, Indiana State Chamber of Commerce

  • “The Governor is focused on the policies that will have the greatest impact on Hoosiers and their employers. You can’t ask for more than that.  We are encouraged by the forward-looking approaches Gov. Holcomb has put forth to keep our economy strong and grow talent. We are especially pleased that the Governor has continued to make the health of Hoosiers a priority. Raising the smoking and vaping age to 21 is one important step we can do to combat the recent vaping illnesses and deaths, as well as the state’s high smoking rate. With the Governor championing this policy, in addition to all the other groups, it strengthens the effort and should move us across the finish line.”

Kyle Hupfer, Indiana Republican Party Chairman

  • “Governor Holcomb has been Putting People First since day one and his 2020 Next Level Agenda continues his commitment to strengthening our state. By focusing on strengthening our economy, infrastructure, workforce and education, and our public health, Governor Holcomb is showcasing the leadership and vision Hoosiers have come to expect from this administration and their governor.”

John Zody, Indiana Democratic Party Chairman

  • “A catchy new slogan won’t paper over critical issues facing working Hoosiers. Eric Holcomb, a leader biased toward a ‘wait and see’ approach, is facing stiff headwinds on kitchen table issues. All eyes are on the governor to shake off the ‘do-nothing’ moniker and roll out an aggressive agenda that takes on critical economic, health care and education issues.