Governor Daniels delivered his eighth and final State of the State address Tuesday night.
He repeatedly referred to Indiana as a leader in several areas as compared to other states.
“Indiana has an honestly balanced budget and first triple a credit rating in state history,” said Daniels.
He received plenty of applause as he spoke about what he considers the more important agenda items of 2012, including the proposed statewide smoking ban.
“We should at long last enact a law to protect workers and patrons across Indiana from the hazards from secondhand smoke,” said Daniels.
It was the controversial right-to-work issue Daniels spent the most time on, though. He said he wants the legislation adopted.
“A thread or more of growing or relocation business will not consider a state that does not provide workers this protection.”
But just outside the House chamber doors there was a roar coming from hundreds of unhappy labor union protesters.
And while it was hard to ignore a few empty seats where Democrats should have been sitting, Daniels had an optimistic, almost hopeful tone.
He also appeared proud of his achievements including a recent $20 million investment in conservation efforts.
“We have leapfrogged other places, passed more competitions than Tony Stewart at Homestead, we certainly are irrefutably different."
Daniels also touched on victims of the State Fair stage collapse, making higher education more affordable and strengthening human trafficking laws.
Republicans and Democrats both reacted after the governor’s speech. Both have very different opinions about Daniel’s ideas for the city.
“I think the most important thing the governor said this evening was that Indiana needs to continue to lead. That's been the mantra not only for the governor but for our respective teams. We have to keep pushing our state forward,” said House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis.
“He missed an opportunity. He could have used tonight to bring Democrats and Republicans together.
The governor did challenge both the Democrats and Republicans to come together despite their differences on the right-to-work legislation.