One-on-one with Governor Mitch Daniels: Part 1

Economically speaking, things are tough all over, but has Indiana done better than most in weathering the storm?

Governor Mitch Daniels is convinced that Indiana’s stock has actually gone up during the downturn.

On one hand, Indiana's financial situation hit a new low last week. Funding for K-though-12 education will be cut by $300 million.

“39 states cut education a long time ago and not by a couple three percent - by six, eight, ten, twelve sometimes. So this is no consolation to us, but it is important perspective for the citizens to have,” says Governor Daniels.

On the other hand, Governor Mitch Daniels is still very much a glass half full kind of guy

“I mean, look around. Look at Michigan, our poor friends up there. Worst basket case in America, flat busted. Ohio is the same, Illinois the same, 40 states of America with worse problems,” says Governor Daniels.

While every state in the country has basically been dealt the same economic hand, Indiana still has a billion dollars in cash reserves to try and cushion the continuing blows of the recession.

“We have handled it better than most. 40-states have raised taxes, we didn't. Most states long since blew through any reserves. We still have some to help us through this,” says Governor Daniels.

The Governor feels that Indiana is, at least, making the best of a bad situation in light of all the economic gloom and doom.

“So we wish it hadn't happened but, yes it has lead to our being seen as a little different than most, and that's a good thing, because that's the starting point to catching the attention of somebody who might bring new jobs here,” he says. “When the national economy does come back there's every reason to think that we'll come back stronger and faster than most anywhere.”

Wednesday night at 11:00, Governor Daniels will share his thoughts, some three-and-a-half years into a 75 year lease, involving the Indiana Toll Road.

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