IBJNews

Pence spells out vision for Indiana in first big address

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Gov. Mike Pence used his first State of the State address Tuesday night to lobby for a personal income tax cut, an expansion of Indiana's school voucher system and improved vocational training.

The new Republican governor highlighted the stories of three families he said showed the need to expand Indiana's 2011 schools overhaul, improve veterans services and refocus the state's education and business communities on the vocational training.

"We can put Hoosiers back to work and make Indiana first — first in job creation, first in education and first in quality of life," he said.

Pence, who took office last week, offered little new in terms of what he will seek in his first year in office, instead using his speech before a joint session of the Indiana House and Senate to lobby for an austere state budget built around a 10 percent cut in the state's personal income tax. That would reduce the income tax rate from 3.4 percent to 3.06 percent.

Pence was firm about the potential loss of $500 million a year in tax revenue. "Let's be honest with our fellow Hoosiers: We can afford to do this," he said.

The GOP holds overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate. Republican leaders, however, have expressed skepticism at the idea of putting a tax cut ahead of school spending following years of education cuts. They are more likely to welcome Pence's call for expanded school vouchers and new jobs training.

Democratic leaders praised Pence for his speech and thanked him for including some of their priorities in his first-year agenda, including a promise to send more state contracts to veteran-owned businesses. But they said they expected more from him, specifically on how he would create jobs.

"I think what I was looking for in the speech is what exactly are going to be the details in reaching (solutions to) those problems that we are dealing with as Hoosiers," said Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson. "I think I was hoping for a bit more of a bolder approach in terms of ideas and resources to really empower workers to bridge that skills gap."

The audience of lawmakers, state officials, lobbyists and Pence's family applauded the governor more than 25 times, standing five times as they saved some of their heartiest plaudits for the three Hoosier families Pence picked to highlight his priorities.

Pence highlighted the story of the Rodney and Melita Davis family of Indianapolis, whose daughter attends the Trader's Point Christian Academy, in backing a continuation of what is already the country's largest private school voucher program. Pence called for the state to expand vouchers to military and foster families, along with special needs children.

"I have long believed that parents should be able to choose where their children go to school, regardless of their income." Pence said. "We must continue to expand educational opportunities, especially for those with the fewest resources."

Pence pointed to Bill Beach, owner of New Albany-based Beach Mold and Tool, as one reason to reinvest in vocational training for high school students.

Pence said Beach's father told him as a teenager that his brother would go to college while he would go to a vocational school since he was good working with his hands. Beach started his company is 1972 and it now has about 600 workers.

The governor called for creating regional councils that would work with businesses and educators to tailor high school vocational programs to available jobs.

"Career and technical education can provide our students with a pathway to success, just as it did for Bill," Pence said. "It can launch entrepreneurs, give kids a reason to finish high school, and create a well-qualified workforce that will encourage business to build here and grow here."

Pence said former Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels and legislative leaders left the state in strong shape and that Indiana stands out "as a beacon of fiscal restraint."

He also pointed to ongoing challenges, including the state's 8 percent unemployment rate that has about 250,000 people out of work, and he called the Indiana's 20 percent poverty rate for children "unacceptable."

Pence cut some sections of his prepared remarks dealing with school safety in the wake of the Connecticut school massacre and some sharp jabs at the federal government that invoked his political hero, Ronald Reagan. He said afterward he knew he was cutting it close to the 30-minute broadcast window allotted governors for their annual speech.

"I looked up and I think it was about 27 after, and I said they're not going to let me get into 'Jeopardy,'" he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Private Companies
    Ummm...last I checked most of those "private companies" are run by hoosier workers and hoosier owners.So who cares, a job is a job no matter the boss.
  • Sounds lofty and nice.
    But, I wonder how many of these projects he will farm out to private companies, as Mitch did. We, the people, will end up not having a bit of interest or ownership in Indiana.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
thisissue1-092914.jpg 092914

Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Here are a few candidates for this new group, "ripped from the headlines." First up, that bizzaro State Senator Brent Waltz; secondly, the unethical Todd Huston, and his contractual arrangements scheme; Finally, but not least of all, the dishonorable Eric Turner. What sayeth you Greg Zoeller?

  2. Good day. I can't hide this great testimony that take place in my life I will love everyone to know it and be partaker that is why I always place it on answer, I am Mrs,Natalie Cuttaia by name, I live in Texas, United State Of America, I want to thank (Mr.Bruce Brandon) for his kindness upon my family life. I never knew that there is still nice lender like this on internet and earth here. Just some Months Back, I was in search for a loan of $100,000,00 as I was running out of money for feeding and rent. I was scammed $6,800 Dollars and I decided not to involve my self in such business again but a Friend of my introduced me to a loan firm due to my appearance and doings. And I told him that I am not interested of any loan deal anymore but he told me that there is still a nice lender who he will recommend me to, and I made a trial and I am most grateful lucky am I today, I was given a loan amount of $100,000.00usd, by this great Company (Bruce Brandon Loan Company) managed by (Mr.Bruce Brandon) If you are in need of a genuine or legit loan or financial assistance and you can be reliable and trusted of capable of paying back at the due time of the funds I will advice you to, contact him via: ( bruce.brandon071@gmail.com ) And you will be free from scams in the internet. All thanks to Mr.Bruce Brandon You are the one who remove me and my family out of poverty. The reason why i am doing this is that, i promise Mr.Bruce Brandon that if i truly got my loan, i will advertize his company and bring customers to his company. Contact him via ( bruce.brandon071@gmail.com )for the Loan you have been looking for..

  3. Hello, We are firm Organization formed to help people in needs of helps,such as financial help. So if you are going through financial difficulty or you are in any financial mess,and you need funds to start up your own business,or you need loan to settle your debt or pay off your bills,start a nice business, or you are finding it hard to obtain capital loan from local banks,contact us today via email mrsroseberrywilkinsfunds.usa@gmail.com So do not let these opportunity pass you by because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever more. Please these is for serious minded and God fearing People. Your Name: Loan Amount: Loan Duration: Valid Cell Phone Number: Thanks for your understanding to your contact as we Await Regards Management Email:mrsroseberrywilkinsfunds.usa@gmail.com

  4. The question is, where could they build a new stadium? It seems in the past year, all the prime spots have been spoken for with potential projects. Maybe in the industrial wasteland area a block past Lucas Oil? I think it needs to be close to the core, if a new stadium is built.

  5. Aldi is generally a great shopping experience. Still, I'm sure YOU wouldn't want to shop there, which I consider a positive.

ADVERTISEMENT