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Holcomb Reflects on Year One

Governor is first in 12 years to take office with prior experience in state government

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Governor Holcomb is nearing the end of his first full year in office planning to pick up in 2018 where he left off this year:

Holcomb is the first governor since Joe Kernan left office in 2005 to have worked in state government before rising to the top job. He says there are differences between being in front of the desk and behind it. Being governor means a long parade of meetings with Hoosiers from all walks of life, who Holcomb says often pour out the most personal aspects of their stories, from triumphs of individualism to struggles with pain and heartache. 

Those meetings can shape the direction of policy discussions, as with the opioid crisis. The epidemic burst into public view while Mike Pence was governor -- fighting it was part of Holcomb's campaign platform, and one of his first policy announcements after his election was the creation of a drug czar to coordinate the effort. But Holcomb says he didn't fully realize until he took office the scale of the epidemic and how much the state is losing to addiction.

Holcomb says the opioid battle will require a comprehensive system of care, and a similarly far-reaching partnership with the federal government and cities and counties.

Holcomb was Pence's lieutenant governor for 10 months and was a top adviser to Mitch Daniels during Daniels' first term as governor. But he says he's gained new understanding in his first year in office of how little time there is -- eight years at most. He says that creates an urgency to get things done. Holcomb says he'll continue to focus on what he's called the "pillars" of his administration: the drug epidemic, economic and workforce development, infrastructure, and government efficiency.

Gov. Eric Holcomb (center) (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

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