Gov. Eric Holcomb says lawmakers “over-delivered” on an ambitious agenda this session. And veterans groups call the spending bill Holcomb signed into law the “most veteran-friendly budget” in state history.
Holcomb applauded lawmakers for “leadership and teamwork,” praising them for finishing on-budget and a week ahead of schedule in the 2017 session.
And prior to affixing his signature to the state’s new $32 billion, two-year spending plan, Holcomb called the budget the envy of many states.
“Another balanced budget, what has become normal here in the state of Indiana. We can say that we are officially keeping that streak,” Holcomb says.
One group very pleased about that budget are veterans organizations. American Legion’s William Henry says the bill takes greater steps to help veterans than the state has seen before.
“Helping out our homeless veterans and helping those with TBI, or traumatic brain injuries, with a pilot program for hyperbaric oxygen therapy,” Henry says.
The budget appropriates new dollars for those efforts, as well as releases money from existing funds.
“Mr. Speaker, you were very clear when you said you wanted to smell asphalt in July. Well, I can assure you come July that you and all of you are going to smell asphalt morning, noon, and night,” Holcomb says.
The road funding bill will eventually generate about $1.2 billion a year, split between the state and local governments. The money is derived from a number of sources.