Mike Pence

The House Minority Leader says Thursday’s decision by GOP leaders to block a vote on Governor Mike Pence’s proposed tax cut is a sign of trouble between the governor and his party. 

House Minority Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) says he doesn’t understand what message House Republicans are trying to send by failing to include Governor Mike Pence’s proposed 10% income tax cut in their budget, and then blocking a House floor vote on it. He calls the tax cut Pence’s marquee pledge to Hoosiers and says it’s unusual for Republicans to essentially dismiss it.

Indiana Senate to debate proposed income tax cut

Feb 19, 2013

A Senate committee is preparing to take up a tax cut authored by Kokomo Republican Jim Buck.

The proposal differs slightly from Governor Pence's call for a 10% cut over two-years.

Buck is recommending a nearly 12% reduction phased in over four years.

He says that would give legislators a chance to halt the tax cut if the economy sputters, or speed it up if Indiana takes in more money than expected.

Buck agrees with the governor that lawmakers should not put off debating the issue.

IN House budget proposal

Feb 15, 2013

The budget proposal from Indiana House Republicans increases K-12 public education. The two-year spending plan is adding $344-million or a little more than 3%. Higher education also would get about a 3.5% more.

The GOP proposal does not include a 10% income tax cut, which Governor Mike Pence has been pushing. It also does not assume there will be any taxpayer refund at the end of the budget cycle.

Still, budget author and Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) says he’s not ruling the tax cut out.

Gov. Pence meeting with higher ed administrators

Feb 11, 2013

Governor Mike Pence says he wants a conversation with the heads of the public colleges and universities to outline his goals. He says he wants to see innovation and affordability from higher education, and he wants those ideas brought forward.

“We’re going to be promoting legislation that encourages our publicly supported universities and colleges to do an even better job helping our young people achieve that objective of on-time completion and look for ways to make college more affordable.”

Gov. Pence holds jobs roundtable in Lafayette

Jan 25, 2013

Governor Mike Pence is getting input from business and civic leaders as he tours the state. He held a jobs roundtable at Subaru of Indiana Automotive Friday afternoon with about a dozen executives and the mayors of Lafayette and West Lafayette.

He presented his Road Map for Indiana plan and continued to push for a 10% income tax cut for all Hoosiers.

"That would also lower taxes on more than 90% of small business owners and farmers in this state."

Gov. Pence delivers State of the State address

Jan 23, 2013

Fiscal restraint was the theme of Governor Mike Pence’s first State of the State address to the Indiana General Assembly. The Republican took to the podium with the goal of convincing legislators and Hoosiers across the state, that a 10% income tax cut is a fiscally responsible move.

Pence says since the state is bringing in more than it spends; it leave some of that money in Hoosiers’ pockets.

Democratic state lawmakers are proposing legislation that would expand the state’s Medicaid program and establish a state-run healthcare exchange.  While Medicaid expansion remains somewhat of an open question, GOP lawmakers say a state exchange won’t happen, at least for now.

The federal Affordable Care Act mandates the creation of healthcare exchanges. Those would be a type of marketplace for insurance companies and consumers in each state.  The exchanges can either be run by the state, the federal government, or a collaboration between the two.

State lawmakers want to help pay for some low-income families to send their children to preschool.

Proposed House legislation would set aside $7 million over each of the next two years for about 1,000 three and four year olds to attend a preschool program.  To be eligible, family income would have to be 185% of the federal poverty level or less, incorporating more people than the federal Head Start program.

Pence names ISDA and FSSA directors

Jan 17, 2013
Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

A Clinton County resident is the new director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Gina Sheets takes over the position in the new Pence administration.

She has worked in the department since 2009, serving as its director of economic development and international trade. Prior to that, Sheets was the C.E.O. of the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce.

She and her husband own a farm outside of Frankfort where they raise livestock, rainbow trout, and produce.

Democratic lawmakers say it’s time for Indiana to begin a serious discussion about healthcare, including potential expansion of Medicaid.  They have proposed legislation dealing with implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The proposed bill authored by Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) would create a state-run healthcare exchange – a kind of marketplace for insurance companies and customers. It also would expand the state’s Medicaid program to add as many as 400,000 Hoosiers.