Reaction To Daniel’s State of the State

Posted On January 11, 2012

(Undated) – Various lawmakers and organizations are weighing in after Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels delivered his 2012 State of the State address Tuesday evening.


You can read a recap of the speech, see video, and full text of Daniels’ address here.


Here are the reactions:


House Minority Leader Pat Bauer (D-South Bend) – “Over the past eight years, these speeches have taken on a depressing familiarity: our governor talks big, but comes up small when it comes to results. This is particularly true when talking about the most important issue of this session: getting Hoosiers back to work.


“It figures that he chooses never to look back when talking about his time in office. He doesn’t want people to remember that the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent when he took office, but is at 9 percent now. He doesn’t want people to remember that he found it unacceptable as a candidate that Hoosiers only earned 91 cents on the dollar compared to the national average, but remains silent as governor now when Hoosiers earn only 86 cents on the dollar.


“At a time when so many are looking to the state for help, our governor’s only response is to continue to endorse a plan that will result in fewer jobs at lower pay in unsafe workplaces: ‘right to work for less.’

“The Republicans may say they are giving ‘right to work for less’ a full public airing, but their actions say otherwise. Earlier today, a House committee refused to allow any amendments or public debate on a ‘right to work for less’ bill and passed it without bipartisan support.


“Their arrogance only serves to fuel our desire to stop this dreadful plan from becoming law.


“Fortunately, for those who are frustrated with the governor’s failure to act and the tyranny of the House Republicans, Indiana House Democrats have another option. It is called ‘Helping Hoosiers NOW’


“Rather than pursuing a Republican plan that focuses on fewer jobs at lower pay in unsafe workplaces, this Legislature could pursue a House Democratic plan that recognizes we need to help Indiana’s small businesses first and do something to help our veterans and the unemployed find work now, rather than down the road.


“‘Helping Hoosiers NOW’ also would provide targeted tax relief for families, an increased focus on early education, and protections for Hoosiers of all ages.


“The people of Indiana should know that there is another path to follow that doesn’t place Hoosiers at risk. House Democrats will continue to fight for the interests of the people of Indiana through the rest of this 2012 session.”



State Sen. Johnny Nugent (R-Lawrenceburg) – “I want to first thank Governor Daniels for his service to our great state throughout the past eight years. I look forward to working with him during his last twelve months in office.


“There’s no shortage of issues that need legislative attention this year — some were brought up tonight — and I am eager to discuss them with my Senate colleagues.


“As always, I’m here to voice the opinions of Hoosiers from the southeastern corner of our state. I’d like to encourage folks back home to contact me with any ideas or concerns regarding jobs, education and other topics discussed by the governor.”



Democrat candidate for Indiana Governor John Gregg – “Hardworking Hoosiers are falling behind, and that’s not right. When I’m governor, I will bring good-paying jobs back to Indiana by improving education, investing in clean Indiana coal and alternative energy, and providing small businesses with the tools to grow.


“We need a governor that will improve Indiana’s abilities to create jobs. Whether it is helping a small business expand in Muncie, promoting manufacturing in Gary, or getting more kids into vocational training at a place like Vincennes University, I know that as a state — and as Hoosiers — we can do better.”



State Rep. Tom Knollman (R-Liberty) – “It was a privilege to be in attendance at the Governor’s final State of the State address. Governor Daniels’ expressed strong commitment to bettering our state and he noted his desire to add more jobs, 250 deals to be specific, which is a similar goal that I share as well, for my district and for the entire state of Indiana.”



Indiana Democratic Party Chair Dan Parker – “What we heard tonight: 15 minutes of historic back-patting, a few minutes of storytelling and a load of propaganda about policies that will harm working Hoosiers, set our state further behind.


“Hoosiers make less than they did when the Governor was elected. There are fewer jobs, and more people are struggling to get by. None of that was reflected in tonight’s speech.


“Additionally, we heard no reference to the failed privatization deals, scandals and broken promises that have marred this administration from the outset.


“We’re looking forward to getting the state back on track after November by electing Democratic leadership that listens to hard-working Hoosiers and values input from more than a chosen few.”


Indiana State AFL-CIO –  “On his first day in office, Gov. Daniels took away the collective bargaining rights of public workers, then he further restricted the collective bargaining rights of teachers like me.  Now he’s going after everyone else,” said South Bend teacher Jennifer Peck. “As a teacher, I’m already paying the price for these partisan politics; however I am here tonight because I know that a “right to work” law would make things so much worse for Hoosiers.”  

Darryl Crenshaw, a sanitation worker in Indianapolis, served in the U.S. Navy and as a firefighter was injured in the line of duty when a jet crashed into a hotel in 1987. He too, opposes the “right to work for less” bill.  

“This law would limit the ability of employers and employees to negotiate a contract. It would put unnecessary government interference into each of our workplaces and would lower wages and reduce working conditions for Hoosier workers,” said Crenshaw. “Working in Sanitation, there isn’t much that’s hidden away. We see it all. And behind the deceptive veil of “right to work, this is all about power and money. House Speaker Bosma, Sen. Long and Gov. Daniels are working for greedy CEOs and shady special interest groups, and willing to sacrifice us and our families in the process.”


In his remarks, Evansville Electrician Paul Greene disputed Daniels’ claims of public support for this contentious issue. “On ads and in political speeches like this one, Indiana politicians claim Hoosier support for a “right to work” law. But these claims don’t hold up, and the undemocratic, closed door tactics we’ve seen in the past few days prove this.” 

“Polls show that most Hoosier workers either oppose “right to work” or simply have no idea what it is,” added Greene. “Political ads during the last election didn’t mention “right to work,” because people aren’t clamoring to vote against middle class jobs.”


Indiana Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers – “Governor Daniels’ proposal to control college credit creep is a commonsense approach to helping more Hoosiers finish their degrees on-time and at the lowest possible cost. The Commission for Higher Education looks forward to working with members of the General Assembly and our colleges and universities to put this proposed policy into action.” 




State of State: “Things Are Very Different In Indiana”