News from the Governor

Governor Mitch Daniels

Governor Mitch Daniels at a press conference
in March at The Chamber concerning the Budget issue

An e-mail from Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels:

Governor announces trade mission to China and Japan

Governor Mitch Daniels has announced he will lead a delegation of Hoosier business leaders and elected officials on the first economic development mission to China by an Indiana governor in more than a decade.  The governor also will make economic development stops in Japan and attend the Japan-U.S. Midwest Conference during his fourth visit to the country since 2005.

The delegation will depart Indiana on September 5 and return on September 16.  The governor will travel in China September 6-11 in Shanghai and Zhejiang, Indiana’s Chinese sister-state.  He will travel to Japan September 11-16 where he is scheduled to visit Tochigi Prefecture, Indiana’s Japanese sister-state, and attend the Japan-U.S. Midwest Conference in Tokyo.  Daniels will meet with government and business leaders in both countries and will host three business receptions for potential investors.

More than 42,000 Hoosiers are employed by the more than 200 Japanese companies in the state with investments of more than $9.8 billion. Daniels hopes to see modest Chinese investment in the state parallel the growth of Japanese investment in the future.

The cost of the state delegation is being covered entirely through private donations to the Indiana Economic Development Foundation and utilizes no tax dollars. In addition to Governor Daniels, the state will be represented by Secretary of Commerce Mitch Roob.

This will be the fifth trade mission that Daniels has led as governor.  In 2005, Governor Daniels led the largest delegation in Indiana history on his first jobs hunting mission to Japan and Taiwan.  The following year, the governor returned to Japan and also made economic development stops in South Korea.  Daniels led two trade missions in 2007, one to Germany and the United Kingdom, and another to Japan.  The governor was unable to join the state delegation that traveled to Japan last year because he stayed to coordinate the state’s disaster recovery efforts following severe weather and flooding across much of the state.

Governor takes laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Governor Daniels recently visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to join NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Sam Hornish, Jr. and Indy Racing League driver Ryan Briscoe for a few laps in a pair of two-seat race cars.


Swiss Aviation Company to Expand, Add Jobs in Indianapolis

Governor Mitch Daniels joined executives from Comlux Completion USA, an international aviation company that refurbishes and completes interiors for corporate aircraft, to announce the company’s plans to expand its Indianapolis operations, a move that is expected to create 480 new jobs over the next five years.

Comlux Completion (formerly Indianapolis Jet Center), part of the Switzerland-based Comlux The Aviation Group, operates two hangars at the Indianapolis International Airport. There, the company upgrades, refurbishes, completes and provides maintenance services for jets and other aircraft. The company plans to invest $46.3 million to expand the existing hangars and construct an additional hangar to accommodate wide body aircraft.

“Hundreds of excellent jobs are only part of the story,” said Daniels. “Comlux’s customers are some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people, and many of them will now come to visit and know Indiana.”

The company currently employs 90 at the Indianapolis facility and plans to hire engineers, installation associates and cabinet craftsmen as the hangar expansion is finalized later this year. The 170,000 square-foot expansion will allow the company to work on up to 12 aircraft simultaneously.

Daniels, Kentucky Governor celebrate legislative efforts to move Ohio River Bridges Project forward

Governor Mitch Daniels recently joined Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear as Beshear signed new legislation aimed at helping Kentucky find a way to finance the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Indiana has $600 million already set aside for the projects thanks to Daniels’ 2006 Major Moves Toll Road initiative.

“Congratulations to Governor Beshear and his legislative colleagues. This legislation is an essential step forward toward investments that are critical to the economic prospects and quality of life for citizens of both states,” said Daniels. “With $600 million already set aside for this purpose, Indiana is ready to go to work.”

Daniels also said that with the approval of the Indiana Senate Pro Tempore and Speaker of the House, he has appointed Kerry Stemler, of New Albany, as the citizen member of the new state Ohio River Bridges Project Commission. Language for the commission was included in the budget signed by Daniels on June 30. The five-member group will work with Kentucky representatives on an Ohio River Bridges Project joint plan of action.

Stemler is president and chief operating officer of KM Stemler Company, Inc., and KM Stemler Trucking Company, Inc. He also was instrumental is the formation of One Southern Indiana, the chamber organization that serves Clark and Floyd counties.

The Ohio River Bridges Project includes two new bridges, plus reconstruction of the Kennedy Interchange in downtown Louisville. The initial financial plan for the project set the estimated cost at $4.1 billion. Indiana’s share is 30 percent. The state has already spent about $40 million on environmental, engineering and other preparatory work.

“Governor Daniels and I recognize the importance of modern river crossings to both of our states. Kentucky and Indiana are quite literally at the hub of America’s interstate commerce,” Beshear said. “We also recognize that these are massive projects, too costly to be undertaken entirely by one state with only our traditional sources of transportation revenue.”

Kentucky House Bill 3 provides for the creation of a Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority. The 11-member authority, which Beshear expects to appoint by fall, will have the mission of facilitating the construction, financing, operation and oversight of major projects by entering into bi-state agreements with Indiana and by creating bi-state authorities. The state authority also can create local authorities for projects entirely within Kentucky.

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