The Latest: Holcomb suggests another boost for teacher pay
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s State of the State speech (all times local):
Top Indiana Democratic lawmakers say Gov. Eric Holcomb is going in the right direction on trying to boost teacher pay and pushing for a state hate crimes law, but still has more work to do.
The Republican governor used his State of the State speech Tuesday evening to introduce a plan for using $140 million in state funds to pay off teacher pension obligations owed by school districts to free up their money for teacher salary increases. Holcomb also renewed his support for Indiana joining 45 other state with hate crimes laws.
Many Republican legislators didn’t join a standing ovation when Holcomb called for a hate crimes law. Senate Democratic leader Tim Lanane (LAN’-in) says Holcomb will face overcoming opposition among conservative Republican lawmakers.
Lanane says Holcomb’s school funding proposal is a good start and shows that money can be found to help give raises to teachers.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is targeting some more state money toward a goal of boosting teacher pay.
Holcomb used his State of the State speech Tuesday evening to announce plans to pay off $140 million in teacher pension obligations owed by school districts over the next two years. The Republican governor says 100 percent of that money should go toward teacher pay raises.
The extra money would amount to about 1 percent more money to school districts. Holcomb and Republican legislative leaders have talked about the importance of finding ways to address Indiana’s lagging teacher salaries, but the governor last week proposed just a 2 percent funding increase for public schools each of the next two years.
Holcomb also renewed his support for a state hate crimes law, saying the issue “has to do with people’s dignity.”
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb says he’ll talk about the need for a state hate crimes law during his State of the State speech.
The Republican governor will be giving his third such speech Tuesday evening before a joint session of the Indiana House and Senate.
Holcomb said Monday he would also discuss education funding but didn’t give details. Holcomb and Republican legislative leaders have talked about the importance of boosting teacher salaries, but the governor has proposed just a 2 percent funding increase for public schools each of the next two years.
Holcomb says Indiana needs to adopt a law specifically against crimes fueled by biases over race, religion and sexual orientation.
Democratic Rep. Greg Porter of Indianapolis says Holcomb must show passionate support to help the proposal become law.