INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) — Governor Eric Holcomb is laying out his to-do list for next year.
News 18 met with Holcomb to discuss that list and asked some people in Tippecanoe County about what they would like to see from the governor this year.
Many Indiana residents say Holcomb's first year in office was a successful one. But there are still a lot problems facing our state.
So, what's it going to take to bring Indiana to the next level in 2018?
"I think it's a people issue," said Doug Hoffman.
Without knowing it, he paraphrased Governor Eric Holcomb's motto for next year.
"2018 in my mind, is going to be all about people, people, people," said Holcomb.
When asked what that meant, he responded, "It means making sure that we are investing at the earliest age and I am talking Pre-K, K-12, making sure that our youngsters are fully equipped and on a path that when they graduate from High School, they've got their ticket to success."
Hoffman says that sounds familiar, saying, "I feel like he's riding the coattails of Pence."
He'd like to see the Governor come into his own this year. Holcomb thinks he has.
"My predecessor's clothes don't fit. I don't try to wear them. I don't try to fill their shoes, I am my own guy 100 percent," said Holcomb.
He's proud of the state's infrastructure success so far.
"I thought we had a lot of construction going on, especially on I-65," said Marcinda O'Neal.
Holcomb added, "And we're doing it not debt-financed, we're paying for it as we go not leaving it for someone else to pick up the bill."
But he says the drug addiction epidemic still needs a lot of work.
"You know, I've got four grandchildren living here, and I'm always concerned," said O'Neal.
Holcomb says the state is attacking the drug problem from every angle, education, law enforcement, added treatment programs, finding millions of dollars to fund the efforts while keeping track of statistics in the process.
"You can't manage what you can't measure," said Holcomb.
And last, but certainly not least on his 2018 to-do list: "I have a new set of cufflinks," said Holcomb. "And they are fireflies."
Students at Cumberland Elementary in West Lafayette have worked for years to get Indiana to name the firefly the state's insect.
Holcomb is confident that will happen next session.