(INDIANAPOLIS) – Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar comments on Gov. Eric Holcomb’s State of the State address:
“We’re encouraged – as many Hoosiers are* – by the continued forward-looking approach taken by Gov. Holcomb and his administration. Investments to grow and attract Indiana’s current and future workers are required to allow our state to achieve at the highest levels.
“An unfortunate omission, however, is the absence of support for improving the health of our citizens by embracing the agenda to reduce smoking (Indiana now ranks 44th among the 50 states in its percentage of smokers). Hoosiers strongly back a cigarette tax hike and increasing the smoking age to 21, as well as addressing the growing vaping crisis among teens.
“In regard to the bias crimes issue, we are pleased to see the Governor continue to emphasize its importance. It is imperative this year to find a way to remove Indiana from the short list of states without a bias crimes law.”
*A December 2018 survey of 600 statewide registered/likely voters on behalf of the Indiana Chamber’s nonpartisan political action committee found 61 percent approval (19 percent disapprove and 20 percent undecided) for the job Gov. Holcomb is doing. Support was across party lines: 72 percent, Republicans; 57 percent, independents; and 54 percent, Democrats.