INDIANAPOLIS (WAVE) - Governor Eric Holcomb declared 2017 a very good year for Indiana in his State of the State address on Tuesday night.
Holcomb touted Indiana's financial status.
He got a strong applause when he said, "Indiana is on a roll. We continue to operate with an honestly balanced budget, we have a AAA credit rating and nearly two billion dollars in our state's savings account."
Then the governor rattled off the reasons Indiana garnered 300 new business commitments during 2017: top five for state business climate; number two for cost of doing business, and number two for cost of living.
Holcomb says Indiana is the envy of the nation regarding infrastructure. About $6 billion will be spent this biennium.
"We'll open section five of Interstate 69 in August," he said. "The nearly 10,000 lane miles that will be resurfaced and the 1,300 bridges that will be repaired or replaced over the next five years are all paid for."
But despite the rosy economic outlook, the governor did reveal what he sees as the Hoosier state's biggest challenge.
Indiana has nearly 85,000 unfilled jobs because employers can't find people with the necessary skills.
Holcomb pointed out that Indiana has some 700,000 residents who started college but didn't finish. He wants state programs to increase efforts to help them, along with the estimated 300,000 who didn't get their high school diplomas.
Holcomb also pointed out that more effort needs to be made to lower Indiana's infant mortality rate, which is well above the national average.