INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mike Pence used the forum of his second State of the State address to focus on job creation, education, and healthcare, but also delved into a few other areas.
“One year ago today, we started on a journey together,” Pence began. “I’ve learned a great deal traveling this state over that year, being with Hoosiers in good times and bad.”
Pence recalled his inaugural State of the State address, reminding the audience that in that address he vowed to make job creation his number one priority, have the state live within its means, improve schools and cut taxes.
“We did just what we said we would do,” he said. “We balanced our budget, created jobs, cut red tape by 55 percent, improved our schools and roads, and paid down state debt … We did all of that and gave Hoosiers the largest state tax cut in Indiana history.”
Last year, he said, Hoosiers created more than 47,500 new private sector jobs and the state maintained its AAA credit rating.
“In November, one out of every eight jobs created in this country was created right here in Indiana,” Pence said. “Unemployment was 8.6 percent when I stood here last year. Today, while still too high, it’s at a five-year low of 7.3 percent.”
Since 2009, he said, Indiana has the fifth fastest private sector job growth rate in the nation.
From there he went to education, noting that fourth- and eighth-graders here showed the second best improvement in math and reading scores in the country.
Pence touted his plan to phase out the business personal property tax, saying it was essential to attracting investment and well-paying jobs.
“Taxing equipment and technology in a state that leads the nation in making and creating things just doesn’t make sense,” he said. “And it looks like our neighboring states have figured that out. Ohio and Illinois don’t have a business personal property tax, and Michigan lawmakers just voted to phase theirs out.”