Governor Mike Pence

Lafayette Mayor's Office

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski was an invited guest to this week’s State of the State address. This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we get his feelings on Governor Pence touting Indiana’s gun laws – even as Lafayette is seeing firearms used in some of the increasing number of violent crimes it’s experiencing.

Also on today’s show: the Mayor said a couple months ago he’d be glad to stop hearing questions about the Myers bridge, but some still linger.

Benson Kua / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bensonkua/

LGBT advocates say Governor Mike Pence in his State of the State Tuesday “shrugged his shoulders” and even “backpedaled” on providing the LGBT community protection from discrimination, but religious groups say Pence was properly cautious about the issue.

Reactions to the governor’s comments on the LGBT rights debate vary widely – some say his comments provided little real guidance to lawmakers.  Rhiannon Carlson, an LGBT Hoosier veteran, says she has no questions about Pence’s clarity.

Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Republican legislative leaders say Governor Mike Pence Tuesday was clear in his State of the State about the necessity of protecting religious freedom when it comes to the debate over LGBT rights, but Democratic leaders say Pence failed to provide any leadership.

Robert Carr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/myconstructionphotos/1525875787/

Tuesday was a good first day in the legislature for two pieces of road funding legislation supported by Governor Mike Pence.

Governor Pence’s road funding plan uses $241 million from the state’s budget reserves to immediately fund state road and bridge maintenance. 

It also provides $240 million through bonding -- which some lawmakers balk at. 

Their concern is paying off bonds over 20 years for road repairs that only last about seven years. 

But Office of Management and Budget director Micah Vincent says the bonds wouldn’t be used for short-term fixes.

State of Indiana / http://www.in.gov/

Tuesday’s State of the State will be Governor Mike Pence’s fourth address to a joint session of the General Assembly. 

Like previous years, Pence is expected to make the case for his legislative priorities – those include state and local road funding, shielding teachers and schools from a precipitous drop in ISTEP scores, and addressing the state’s drug abuse crisis. 

But what many will be listening most for is the expected reveal of the governor’s position on LGBT rights – a subject he’s declined to address for months.

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Legislators' quest for money for road maintenance may be the death knell for Indiana's automatic tax rebate.

Governor Mitch Daniels pushed through the law in 2011 giving taxpayers money back if the state surplus grew beyond 12.5-percent of spending.

The next year, Daniels' last as governor, the state cleared that threshold, and Hoosiers received $111 per taxpayer in 2013.

Governor Pence's road plan includes $240 million from the surplus, leaving the state an 11.5-percent reserve.

Gretchen Frazee / indianapublicmedia.org/news

Governor Mike Pence has indicated he will likely weigh in on the upcoming debate over LGBT rights during his upcoming State of the State address.

The governor maintains he is listening to all sides of the debate, though he’s rebuffed questions about his stance on LGBT rights for months – essentially since the last legislative session.  With his yearly State of the State address approaching, Pence says Hoosiers will soon know his position.

Pictures of Money / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictures-of-money/

Governor Mike Pence heads into the year of his reelection bid with a sizeable fundraising advantage over his Democratic challenger. 

Likely Democratic nominee John Gregg actually outraised Pence in the first half of 2015 and finished the year with $3.7 million in contributions, and $3.5 million cash on hand. 

But the Republican incumbent raised about $3.5 million  in the last six months…nearly as much as Gregg raised in all of 2015.  Pence ended the year dwarfing the Democrat’s numbers: nearly $7 million cash on hand after bringing in about $5 million over the year. 

courtesy GE

Governor Mike Pence announced Thursday that 2015 is a record-breaking year for economic development. 

Pence says 323 companies, up from 285 in 2014, pledged to create new jobs over the next few years.

“Those 323 companies are committing to create 26,555 new Hoosier jobs" he says, "and it represents more than 4.79 billion dollars of investment in the state of Indiana.”

That’s the highest number of companies committed to expansion in the state since the creation of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation in 2005.

State of Indiana / http://www.in.gov/

Governor Pence says the state is monitoring the threats that closed two central Indiana school districts Thursday.

Danville Community School Corporation canceled classes following alleged social media threats.

Two students have been arrested in that case.

The nearby Plainfield Community School Corporation canceled classes for both Thursday and Friday due to a threat officials would only say was "directed to the high school."

Pence says the school threats are unfortunate, but a reality in our society.

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