State legislators need to start working together to move Indiana forward.
"When I was in the House (of Representatives), we had a couple of instances where we were tied 50-50 and needed 51 percent for approval," Gregg said during the Clay County Democratic Club's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner at Traditions Friday. "You know how we broke the tie? We talked to each other and got along while in the legislature to get things done which would benefit Hoosiers."
Gregg told The Brazil Times the hot topic in his travels across Indiana is employment.
"It is not only the first concern of Indiana residents, but also the second and third," he said. "It doesn't even matter the type of jobs -- whether it be for the young or old, or the skilled or untrained -- people just want more jobs to be available."
He added his perception, along with several other residents he has met along the way, is that the current legislature is focused more on settling old scores.
"The Republican-controlled legislature has not done a single thing to create more jobs," Gregg, who represented District 45 in the House from 1986-2002, and served as House Speaker from 1996-2002, told the audience. "However, both parties are guilty of wanting to get even by going after unions and education. When you get that type of mindset, everyone loses."
Another aspect Gregg said is holding up progress in Indiana is a focus on Washington D.C.
"It makes me sick that the same separatist issues going on in Washington are going on here," he said. "We, as Democrats, do not have a lock on all the best ideas, and we need to stop all this stuff that divides us and work together. Also, the next governor of Indiana needs to focus on places like Brazil, Ind., not Brazil, South America, and Washington, Ind., rather than Washington D.C."
Despite the strain between parties at the statehouse, Gregg said the general feeling of Democrats is optimistic.
"The other party has done more to unify us than we have done for ourselves, and they are enthused and excited," Gregg said. "But, we will have to swallow our pride and I am thoroughly convinced that if all the Democrats work together, along with help from the independents and Republicans, we can accomplish a lot."
He pointed out some sectors, like methane gas and Aquaculture, are starting to become waves of the future, but took exception with one topic in front of the current legislature.
"Vouchers, as a whole, are not a good idea for public education," he said. "When you have a rural community, like my hometown of Sandborn, which is about 8-miles south of Linton, where the population is less than 500 people, there aren't going to be many, if any, private schools, meaning you will be going to a public school."
Gregg told The Brazil Times there are so many possibilities for the advancement of the state, one of which lies in this area.
"There are amazing opportunities in the state, and a great natural resource is in Clay County and the Wabash Valley," he said. "There is the chance to be energy independent with the abundance of clean coal possibilities."
Gregg, who is currently an attorney with the Bingham McHale law firm, which has offices in Vincennes and Indianapolis, added as he gets closer to a decision on a possible gubernatorial run, the main goals of creating more jobs and working together are coming clearer.
"The pity party is over," he said. "We can move Indiana forward if we focus on working together across party lines and the potential that is here in this state. I have never left Indiana, and I appreciate being able to keep in touch with Hoosiers and their needs."