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Chamber of Commerce report card shows Indiana lagging behind other states

Vanessa Green Sinders speaks into a microphone at a lectern. She is a White woman, with chestnut brown hair, wearing a blazer over a black top.
Brandon Smith
/
IPB News
Incoming Indiana Chamber of Commerce CEO Vanessa Green Sinders said her message to lawmakers is that the state needs to keep moving forward, whether through big steps or small.

Indiana is improving in some key economic areas, according to the latest report card released by the state Chamber of Commerce Tuesday.

But in many areas, that improvement is being outpaced by other states.

The report cards, released every couple of years, are tied to the chamber’s economic vision plan. It tracks metrics across a range of issues, everything from labor force participation and entrepreneurship to health care costs and educational attainment.

Outgoing chamber CEO Kevin Brinegar said Indiana ranks in the top 10 of only seven of the report card’s 49 national measures.

“The progress isn’t happening fast enough because other states are improving at a faster pace,” Brinegar said. “So, we need to pick up the pace.”

READ MORE: Indiana legislative leaders temper expectations of major action in 2024 session

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Incoming CEO Vanessa Green Sinders said the chamber will bring the report card’s message to lawmakers — even as legislative leaders promise a quieter 2024 session.

“There’s many ways to accomplish things,” Sinders said. “Sometimes it’s big things, sometimes it’s small things — but we need to keep moving forward.”

Areas where Indiana lags that the chamber highlighted are health care costs and early childhood education.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.