A look at news and events in the Daniels Administration
September 17-23, 2007
AT&T announces 475 new jobs
Sept. 18, 2007- Governor Daniels joined AT&T Indiana president George Fleetwood at the Anderson AT&T network site to announce the creation of 475 new jobs in
"Our new telecommunications law is creating jobs for Hoosiers and leading to the development of innovative technologies our state needs," said Gov. Daniels. "AT&T's continued investment in new employees and leading-edge products is a great example."
"Governor Daniels deserves tremendous credit for giving the state's telecom sector a green light to create jobs and deploy next-generation technology," said Fleetwood. "When you combine the reforms in House Bill 1279 with the rapid subscriber growth that we are seeing for our new television services, you have a recipe that fuels our need for additional employees."
Earlier this year, AT&T also announced job growth resulting from the passage of HB 1279. In July, the company officially opened a new Internet subscriber call center that is slated to employ 425 Hoosiers. AT&T also plans to hire 600 workers to operate a wireless customer care center that is scheduled to open next month.
Governor details Healthy Indiana Plan
Sept. 21, 2007- After returning from meetings with federal officials in
"This innovative program is a big step forward in helping
The plan will use federal matching grants and an estimated $140 million of revenue from the state cigarette tax to pay for services such as physician and hospital visits, prescriptions and diagnostic exams. It will also provide preventive care with the prospect of decreasing the need for medical care over time.
Gov. Daniels introduced the original concept for the Healthy Indiana Plan in 2006. House Enrolled Act 1678 was passed with bipartisan support during the 2007 legislative session.
Applications will be accepted beginning in December. Coverage is expected to start in January.
Governor holds cookout for overnight hosts
Sept. 15, 2007- In appreciation of their hospitality in welcoming him into their homes as an overnight guest, Governor Daniels invited families that have hosted him throughout the past several years to a cookout at the Governor's Residence.
"So many people have been generous enough to open their homes to me, so I thought I'd make an attempt at returning the favor," said Gov. Daniels. "I've stayed overnight in the homes of close to a hundred different Hoosier families of all kinds, and that's how I've learned about this job and about this state."
Pump manufacturer to expand its northeast
Sept. 20, 2007-
"Creating an environment that allows businesses like
Established in 1866,
National distributor to relocate to
Sept. 19, 2007- Flodraulic Group, a national distributor of hydraulic, pneumatic, and lubrication components, announced it will relocate its facility to
The company will invest more than $2.6 million to build and equip its expanded manufacturing and distribution center and will begin hiring additional sales and production staff in 2008.
Currently headquartered in
DOT finalizes time zone change for five southwestern
Sept. 20, 2007- Five additional counties in southwestern
The time zone for Knox, Daviess, Martin, Pike and Dubois counties will be changed from Central to Eastern on November 4 when daylight saving time ends and standard time begins. The counties jointly petitioned for the change earlier this year. A sixth county, Perry, will remain in the Central Time Zone.
"We now have the highest number of Hoosiers ever on the same time year round. I was glad to support the local petitions and glad five of the six counties have been approved to move to the Eastern Time Zone," said Governor Mitch Daniels.
With the change, 80 of
In the news
The Wall Street Journal
September 15, 2007
By Fred Barnes
Gov. Daniels has been energetic and successful, but his achievements have not come easily. The most daring decision, leasing a major toll road that stretches across the state to a foreign company for 75 years, prompted a wave of populist anger and drove down his popularity. And that wasn't his most controversial move. In his campaign for governor, Mr. Daniels vowed to adopt daylight savings time for six months of the year, replacing what some in Indiana, particularly farmers, regard as "God's time."
Mr. Daniels, 58, is an unusual politician. In 1988, he turned down an offer to replace Dan Quayle in the U.S. Senate after Mr. Quayle had been elected vice president. Gov. Robert Orr had been eager to appoint him. Mr. Daniels says "[i]t wouldn't have worked." Instead, he stayed in
Mr. Daniels distinguished himself by clashing with Republican spenders in Congress -- Sen. Ted Stevens of
In June 2006, Mr. Daniels opened eight bids for leasing the 157-mile
Now, 15 months later, Mr. Daniels has been vindicated: The money from the lease will pay for a 10-year road-building program that requires no new taxes or borrowing. Construction has begun on projects originally planned two decades ago.
Had the state continued to operate the tollway and rely on the gasoline tax to pay for road work,
Mr. Daniels has also privatized thousands of state jobs and numerous state functions. Prisons used to cook their own meals; by outsourcing food preparation, he said, the state is saving $14 million a year. "And the food got better." Administration of the welfare program was turned over to an IBM-led consortium, with savings estimated by Mr. Daniels at $500 million over 10 years. He also refused to extend an executive order that had forced state employees to pay union dues. Once the dues became voluntary, 85% of the state work force stopped paying.
Still, conservatives are uneasy with Mr. Daniels because he has supported some tax hikes. He calls himself "a washed-in-the-blood supply sider," but proposed, as one of his first acts as governor, a 1% surtax on incomes of more than $100,000 for one year. "I made a mistake," he said, "especially springing it as a surprise." As luck would have it, the legislature rejected the tax hike and balanced the budget with spending cuts.
Mr. Daniels also persuaded the city of
This summer, the governor proposed creating a new health-insurance program for poor adults who constitute the "core uninsured." Because he is financing it with a 44-cent per-pack increase in the cigarette tax, the proposal drew fire from Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Mr. Daniels was undeterred, arguing that the program will have the added benefit of reducing smoking. It's now awaiting only final approval by Mr. Daniel's old bailiwick, OMB.
"I know my supply-side catechism," he explained in an interview with me. "A consumption tax on a product you'd just as soon have less of doesn't violate the rules I learned under Ronald Reagan." Mr. Daniels was political director of the Reagan White House from 1985 to 1987. Now as governor, Mr. Daniels has his own set of political rules that include, he implies like Reagan, going along with a tax hike when there's no alternative.
Mr. Daniels is not the perfect model of a conservative governor. But he's bold, he's lured Japanese companies to Indiana, notably Honda, and stirred a stagnant economy. And he's privatized inefficient state functions despite union opposition and minimal public support. Other governors can benefit from what Mr. Daniels learned the hard way: Don't propose tax increases when spending cuts are possible.
He is running for re-election next year, but not with much relish. "I was never obsessed with holding office," he says. That may be good. Because some conservatives dislike Mr. Daniels, Democrats think there might be an opening to defeat him. One leading Democrat -- Jim Schellinger, an architect in
A look ahead.
Governor Daniels will travel Markle,
Office of Governor Mitch Daniels