Republican legislative leaders are supportive of the Regional Recovery Program Gov. Eric Holcomb unveiled in his State of the State address.
Under the program, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation will work with regions – rather than just individual counties or cities – on projects that aim to improve quality of life. That might be through workforce training, industry development or social programs.
Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said he hopes it will prioritize improving mental health services.
“If we can get some of those people out of those jails and into facilities that would be able to help them, I think we’d be able to really move the ball forward there,” Bray said.
Holcomb’s proposal builds on the now-defunct Regional Cities Initiative, created under then-Gov. Mike Pence.
House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said he wasn’t originally a fan of that initiative, but recognizes what regional investment can accomplish.
“It has had a tremendous impact," Huston said. "It’s done what we hoped it would and create both public and a lot of private investment.”
The new program’s details – including funding – haven’t been worked out.
Democratic leaders didn't object to the proposed program, but noted the key will be what sort of projects are targeted and whether working-class Hoosiers will benefit.