Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317-232-1622

For Immediate Release: May 2, 2005
Economic growth package leads governor's successful legislative agenda
INDIANAPOLIS (April 30, 2005) – Governor Mitch Daniels said today that passage of his economic growth package leads his list of accomplishments achieved during an historic 2005 General Assembly session that ended Friday

INDIANAPOLIS (April 30, 2005) – Governor Mitch Daniels said today that passage of his economic growth package leads his list of accomplishments achieved during an historic 2005 General Assembly session that ended Friday.


“I’m most proud of our economic growth package, which was done virtually by consensus,” said the governor, who outlined results of his first legislative agenda with Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman. “For the long term in Indiana, this probably comes first. It’s the reason we sought public office in the first place, to bring more economic hope to the state.”


Among key economic development initiatives that received approval, Daniels highlighted modest tax incentives for small businesses, modernization of the tax code, restoration of brownfields, and energy incentives that will help promote investment in clean coal, ethanol and biodiesel production.


The General Assembly approved 59 of the 74 legislative initiatives, including protecting children through creation of the Department of Child Services, accelerating the implementation of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, creating the position of Inspector General and providing improved tools and regulations to fight methamphetamine.


“I do think it’s accurate to label the session that ended last night historic as many people have,” said Governor Daniels. “With programs to boost the incomes and job prospects of Hoosiers, to reform state government, to give us the highest ethics standards in America, to fight methamphetamine, to protect children and in so many other categories, Indiana has declared we are ready to spring forward in ways that don’t have anything to do with clocks.


“It’s just a start but it was a great start. Indiana owes much of the achievement, of course, to the legislative leadership. Legislators moved a probably unprecedented amount of important legislation through. They did it on time and in an orderly way.”


A number of legislative initiatives were partially approved, including passage of an honestly balanced budget. Governor Daniels sought an honestly balanced budget in the first year of the next biennium; the budget approved by the General Assembly would do that in 2007.


“This is a balanced budget, and it’s an honestly balanced budget, and by the time we’re done, I still hope we will balance it through executive actions and savings we find in the first year,” said Daniels.


The governor also said he was pleased with passage of a measure that will provide economic development progress for Northwest Indiana and funding for a new Indianapolis Colts stadium and expanded Indiana Convention Center.


“It was no sure thing that we could persuade a majority of our fellow citizens to take this step. We were able to craft something that won the confidence and support of people elsewhere in the state,” said the governor. “I’m at least as excited that we were able to make a breakthrough for Northwest Indiana, a long neglected part of the state which has to become a full member of the Hoosier family. These are two really important projects, and I’m glad we found a formula that secured the support of a big majority.”


Regarding legislative approval of Daylight Saving Time that occurred on April 28, the governor said he has been in contact with the Department of Transportation about the petition process to consider time zone changes.


“I’ll want to visit with legislators and local elected officials and listen to Hoosiers, and, of course, there will be a full come-one, come-all hearing process as to whether the Central Time Zone should be expanded,” said the governor. “We’ll move quickly but haven’t made any quick judgment about what proposal to make.


“I thought the most important thing we could do for jobs and economic hope in Indiana was to get in step with the rest of the world, and that has been achieved.”