State of the State
Governor Michael R. Pence
January 22, 2013
As prepared for delivery:
Speaker Bosma, President Pro Tem Long, Lt. Governor Ellspermann, Senator Lanane, Representative Pelath, members of the General Assembly and Judiciary, distinguished guests, my fellow Hoosiers:
I am honored to stand before you today as governor of all the people of Indiana and I know that, together, we will write the next great chapter of Indiana history.
Thank you for that warm welcome. To my colleagues gathered here I say, my remarks will not be as brief as last week's inaugural address, but your feet will be warmer!
Article V, of the Constitution of the State of Indiana provides that the Governor shall "give to the General Assembly information touching the condition of the State, and recommend such measures as he shall judge to be expedient."
In discharging that duty, I come before you to proclaim that the state of our state is strong and growing stronger because we have good government and because we serve a great people. If we will remain bold, confident and optimistic, I am positive we can lead our state from good to great.
Hoosiers owe a debt of gratitude to all the leaders gathered in this room. Because of your service in the recent past, our state has become the fiscal envy of the nation and a model from how good government works.
We have balanced budgets and surpluses when most states are broke or struggling. We are one of only nine states with a AAA bond rating-higher than the federal government.
But while we rightly celebrate our progress, these are still difficult times for too many in our state.
As we gather this evening, a quarter million Hoosiers are out of work, and nearly one million Hoosiers lack the skills they need to succeed in today's marketplace.
Despite progress in education, too many of our schools are still lagging behind, some way behind.
And, especially heartbreaking to this father, one in five Hoosier children lives in poverty. That is unacceptable.
With so many families and businesses struggling just to get by, we have no choice but to remain bold.
We have to do better.
And doing better starts with the right priorities. It starts by adopting a roadmap that says "yes" to our future and believes in the unlimited potential of our people.
It all starts by making job creation job one.
That's why on day one of our administration, I signed a moratorium on any new regulations to ensure that Indiana is not burdening Hoosier employers with unnecessary red tape.
And that's why we proposed a jobs budget last week.
Our budget is honestly balanced, holds the line on spending, funds our priorities, builds our reserves and lets hardworking Hoosiers keep more of what they earned.
Let's be clear: Government doesn't create jobs, other than government jobs, but government can create the conditions where people can be the risk takers, innovators, and workers who will create the jobs and opportunities of tomorrow.
And everything starts with fiscal discipline, the surest foundation for economic growth.
I believe our State must live within its means and never spend a single dollar more than it collects.
So, first, we have submitted an honestly balanced budget, with no tax increases.
Second, our budget holds the line on spending.
I believe the government budget should never grow faster than the family budget. Our budget is a full percentage point less than inflation. By holding the line on spending, Indiana can continue to stand out as a beacon of fiscal restraint-a state that knows how to fund its priorities in a responsible way.
And our budget funds our priorities:
Our budget proposes an increase in funding for education, including full day kindergarten, and fully funds teacher pensions each of the next two years. As a result, education represents 64 percent of all state expenditures.
In addition, we provide $18 million over two years to ensure that all Hoosier workers have the skills to find a job in today's economy.
And since roads mean jobs, we're investing nearly $347 million in excess reserves on Indiana's roads, bridges and infrastructure.
Our budget creates a partnership with Indiana's life sciences industry and our universities, to spur research and produce high-paying jobs.
And because Indiana is agriculture we envision our state becoming a hub of food and agricultural breakthroughs by supporting an Agriculture Innovation Corridor
Our budget also ensures that the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is adequately equipped to both attract more business and investment to Indiana and operate with greater transparency and accountability to the public.
And lastly, our budget keeps faith with those to whom we owe the most.
It was Abraham Lincoln who said we must, "care for him who shall have borne the battle." But in Indiana, our veterans are hurting, and they need our help. Post-9/11 Hoosier veterans have an unemployment rate higher than the national average. We have to do better. We owe these heroes nothing less.