Cutting the business personal property tax on new equipment purchases and expanding the number of Hoosiers eligible for an automatic tax refund were at the top of Governor Eric Holcomb’s 2022 Statehouse legislative agenda.
The 2022 Next Level Agenda details both legislative and administrative priorities in five categories for the year ahead.
To continue the momentum of a robust economic development environment, the agenda focuses on working with the legislature to eliminate the business personal property tax on new equipment and modernizing the Indiana Economic Development Corporation toolkit to:
- Create a new funding mechanism to more competitively invest in transformational economic development opportunities
- Provide greater flexibility within our existing economic tax credit incentive programs
- Incentivize and attract more remote worker jobs to Indiana.
Gov. Holcomb will also collaborate with legislative leaders to ensure more than 900,000 Hoosiers receive the upcoming automatic taxpayer refund.
Education, training and workforce development
Gov. Holcomb will focus efforts on strengthening early learning opportunities, concentrating on better preparing students for kindergarten. He will direct the Department of Education (DOE) to establish an Office of Kindergarten Readiness to partner with the early childhood team at the Family and Social Services Administration and a revised Early Learning Advisory Committee (ELAC) to support kindergarten readiness.
DOE also will move forward with the Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed, a new school performance dashboard which will focus on how students are building skills for success beyond the classroom.
DOE is also building a new teacher supply-and-demand marketplace that will connect educators with job opportunities in Indiana. Additionally, the state is strengthening its data-driven public workforce system to connect unemployed Hoosiers with employers, jobs and training programs.
Public health and wellness development
Gov. Holcomb is committed to removing the stigma of mental health by creating easier access to people in need of services, building awareness and expanding education and growing the workforce in mental health. The agenda supports the Governor’s Public Health Commission as it develops recommendations to improve public health infrastructure and resources throughout the state.
With the help of legislation, the agenda includes expanding data collection surrounding sudden unexplained infant deaths to understand the root cause which will better support future programming and services. Additionally, it prioritizes creating guidelines for universal lead screening and connecting children with the proper care.
The 2022 Next Level Agenda will assist communities in establishing safeguards to strengthen cybersecurity efforts by developing a grant program that will help local governments develop improvement plans. Gov. Holcomb is committed to overseeing the implementation of the $500 million READI program as the 17 regions begin developing their projects. The agenda calls for continued progress on capital projects that were authorized in the current budget and building better infrastructure to connect communities for future generations by completing roads, trails, broadband and facility projects.
Good government service
The 2022 agenda includes a focus on firefighter safety by establishing a program that collects and properly disposes of PFAS, chemicals found in firefighting foam that can have adverse health effects.
Also, the agenda addresses the regulatory and statutory changes prompted by the third-party review of the state’s law enforcement agencies.
This includes Gov. Holcomb’s commitment to do the following:
- Work with legislative leaders to enhance membership of the Law Enforcement Training Board to include more civilians as well as all satellite academy directors as voting members
- Establish personnel at the Law Enforcement Training Board to expand development and oversight of statewide training and curriculum that includes implicit bias and cultural awareness
- Develop a strategic plan for Indiana State Police to accomplish recruiting and diversity goals
- Modernize state law enforcement information systems to better track and analyze performance metrics
You can hear the Governor’s announcement and statehouse media questions in the Leon Tailored Audio above. Part one is the Governor unveiling his agenda and part two is questions from the media.
The following is the reaction from Statehouse leaders…
Senate President Pro Tempore Rod Bray
- We appreciate Gov. Holcomb laying out his agenda for 2022. One thing I am particularly interested in, like the governor, is the opportunity to update our economic development tools to help our state continue to become more competitive, create good-paying jobs for all Hoosiers and attract new talent to our state. In addition, our caucus shares the goal of making changes to our taxpayer refund law so more Hoosiers will be eligible for the refund and continuing to make improvements to our workforce development efforts to meet the demand of today’s job market. Though this is a short session, there is undoubtedly a lot of work ahead, and we are ready to work with our colleagues in the House of Representatives and Gov. Holcomb to continue making improvements for our state.”
House Speaker Todd Huston
- “I appreciate the governor laying out his priorities to continue Indiana’s positive momentum in 2022. I look forward to working with him and our Senate colleagues on our shared legislative priorities this session. House Republicans also remain focused on our efforts to support Hoosier families and keep money in taxpayers’ pockets.”
House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta
- Governor Holcomb’s legislative agenda is a refreshing divergence from the priorities we’ve seen from legislative Republicans – rather than the divisive, culture war type of bills we’ve seen filed – he seems keen on improving early learning and public health outcomes for Hoosiers. House Democrats believe strategic investments are key to improving public health and securing our state’s economic future. We expect to accumulate an unprecedented amount of surplus money – $5.1 billion – in our state coffers by the end of the 2022 fiscal year. Our maternal mortality rate and public health outcomes are abysmal. Families are in debt because household income has remained stagnant for several decades. Zero Indiana counties have adequate access to child care. Although Governor Holcomb mentioned this desire to address these issues, it’s troubling to hear that another 12 months are needed to make these investments. – at the same time he proposes eliminating the 30% business personal property tax floor this year. If we can open the budget for business, surely we can open it for our people, too.”
Kyle Hupfer, State GOP Chairman
- Since 2017, Governor Holcomb has put forward a legislative agenda that continues moving Indiana forward, and his 2022 Next Level Agenda is no different. Whether it’s strengthening our economy, supporting education and workforce development, focusing on health and wellness, collaborating with local government, or delivering good government service, Governor Holcomb is once again showing he’s dedicated to building One Indiana for All.