Gov. Daniels talks to 14 News; reflects on 8 years in office - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Gov. Daniels talks to 14 News; reflects on 8 years in office

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Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R) Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R)
(WFIE) -

The debate over gay marriage is heating up in Indiana.  It's become an issue in the final weeks of Governor Mitch Daniels' second term, the governor sat down with Brian Boesen today to talk about the present, the past and the future.

Lawmakers approved a measure last year to write a gay marriage ban into the state constitution and if it's approved again next year, it will be up to voters to decide.

Tonight Daniels, isn't taking a position, but says he has no regrets when it comes to 8 years behind the governor's desk.

"This is one of those issues that you know, finally I think has to be decided by the people at large," said Gov. Daniels.

With only weeks left in his second term, Governor Mitch Daniels says he's hearing from companies about preserving benefits for gay couples. Something not possible under a gay marriage ban.

"What I certainly hope is that the courts don't rip this decision out of the hands of people," said Gov. Daniels. "Now whether anything should go forward right now, I don't have any advice for the next legislature that's up for them to decide," he said.

Daniels says 2012 was a good year for the state, one that brought a number of key achievements, including the opening of I-69.

"I think it will make an enormous difference to a corner of the state that has waited too long for it," said Gov. Daniels. 

Sweeping reforms to education.

"What we'd like to see is much higher percentage of our students not only graduating but graduating career and college, and or college ready," said Gov. Daniels.

And what Daniels' says may be his proudest achievement: Indiana becoming a right-to-work state.

"In just five months, almost 100 companies have chosen Indiana that mentioned this as a factor," he said 

Daniels, who will turn 64 next year, is now preparing for his next adventure, as president of Purdue University.

"Higher education is under a lot of criticism right now. I take a real appreciation for Purdue University, for higher ed in general," said Gov. Daniels. 

Governor-elect Mike Pence will assume his new role in January.

Daniels says he hopes Pence will chart his own path and make Indiana a better state.

"Try to foster a sense of community in the state, that we are in it together, that everybody matters, that every place matters," said Gov. Daniels.

Daniels' last day in office will be January 14, the same day Pence is sworn in and while his contract is up for approval this weekend, Daniels is expected to begin his five year term at Purdue shortly after.

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