Our infrastructure is the foundation of our state and our nation – if our foundation is crumbling, it’s impossible to build on it. How can we be the Crossroads of America if our failing infrastructure is costing Hoosiers wasted taxpayer funds, economic opportunity, and out-of-pocket expenses? Our rural areas are stifled by a lack of broadband access, and our roads are in need of repair.
Investing in our infrastructure is at the top of my list. We must work on the federal, state, and local levels to ensure that our roads, bridges, and waterways make up the strong foundation that our state needs. In today’s era, infrastructure needs also extend beyond our streets – bringing broadband access to every part of our state will result in stimulating our local economies and supporting each Hoosier family. If we can’t participate in the high speed internet economy and information flow, our children will struggle in completing homework assignments, our small businesses will miss out on eCommerce, and Indiana will be left behind.
This is our generation’s equivalent of the Tennessee Valley Authority – Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s innovation that brought electricity to the rural South, helping to eradicate malaria in the United States and accomplishing other major advancements through integrated solutions. At the time, FDR described that effort as, “a corporation clothed with the power of government, but possessed of the flexibility and initiative of a private enterprise.” We must resist efforts that choke off this resource for the people of Indiana. Life without high speed internet in 2018 would be the equivalent of life without electricity in the 1930s.
Now it is our time to innovate for strong and reliable internet in order to ensure that every Hoosier has access to the tools they need to succeed. Robust infrastructure must be a priority. We need to invest more wisely in our infrastructure in order to deliver funding and resources that not only strengthen our roads and bridges now, but that are sustainable, rather than short-term band aids. Committing to rebuilding is also investing in creating well-paying jobs for Hoosiers – a pledge I am proud to make.