Governor pushing to raise age to purchase tobacco to 21

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHR) — Governor Eric Holcomb is pushing for Indiana to raise the age to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21.

He also wants to enhance enforcement to prevent underage buyers.

According to the American Cancer Society, Indiana has one of the highest smoking rates in the country and nearly 35,000 Indiana kids have used e-cigarettes.

Gov. Holcomb also addressed other issues in his 2020 Next Level Agenda.

Infrastructure

Gov. Holcomb’s $1 billion Next Level Connections program expands broadband service to unserved areas in Indiana. It also grows the state’s systems of trails, preserves the highways and creates more nonstop international flights.

The governor also wants to decrease distracted driving by enacting a hands-free device driving law.

Indiana's workforce

Gov. Holcomb said the 2020 agenda also includes identifying unfunded mandates and unnecessary requirements in K-12 education. He would move to eliminate those in 2021.

He wants to hold schools harmless for ILEARN scores, changing career-related teacher professional growth points from required to optional, and redesigning the prison education system to better prepare Department of Correction offenders to re-enter society.

Government services

The governor said his 2020 agenda will save Hoosiers more than $125 million in borrowing costs by using $300 million in cash now to fund capital projects.

Gov. Holcomb also wants to simplify how Hoosiers reach out for health and human services assistance by integrating the 2-1-1 helpline into FSSA call centers.