Mitch Daniels says he plans to approach his last year as Indiana’s governor as aggressively as he has the past seven years he has been in office. Daniels laid out his agenda for the next year in his final State of the State address Tuesday.
Daniels praised the accomplishments of the state and his administration over the last year. He touted benefits from education reform, gains in economic development, and efficiency in state government. He says those strides only serve to raise the bar higher.
Daniels urged for greater progress in job creation, infrastructure improvements and conservation. He also reemphasized his legislative agenda. He says that includes local government reform, a statewide smoking ban and, of course, right to work. He also cautioned against complacency.
“But with a welcoming business climate, enormous investments in new public infrastructure and a stable fiscal picture, we are poised for more progress and better days,” he said.
The mood in the hallways of the Statehouse was far from celebratory as the governor left the chamber. Protestors in the halls shouted their opinions, primarily against right to work.
Senate Minority Leader Vi Simpson says she is disappointed in the speech, feeling the governor missed an opportunity.
“He could have used tonight to bring Democrats and Republicans together,” she says.
Simpson says that, instead, the governor continued to push divisive issues like right to work.