Holcomb’s priorities include tech startups, infrastructure

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Network Indiana): Governor-elect Eric Holcomb is fleshing out his campaign platform with details on his legislative agenda.

Holcomb will ask legislators to allow state investments in Indiana startups, using money from a half-billion-dollar trust fund created with proceeds from the Toll Road lease.

He says the state has an opportunity to accelerate the growth of high-tech industries in Indiana. Outgoing Governor Mike Pence had made a similar proposal, but with money from state pension funds.

Holcomb says using the Next Generation Trust Fund will give the state closer oversight and associate the state’s brand more firmly with tech growth.

Interest from the trust fund is used for roads and bridges. Holcomb’s joining legislators in calling for a long-term road funding plan, but still isn’t locking in on a single road-funding proposal, but says his “beginning preferences” are gas taxes, tolls, and fees on alternative-fuel vehicles. Not included are two of the largest pieces of House Republicans’ plan: a fee on all vehicles and the earmarking of gasoline sales taxes.

Holcomb is calling on legislators to double spending on a preschool pilot program in five counties, and to make the state school superintendent an appointed position. And he’s proposing that the state foot the bill for tuition for adults who return to school to gain certification in high-demand fields.

Holcomb will also ask legislators to let counties begin needle exchange programs without state permission, and he’s seeking limits on prescription pain medication for first-time patients.

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