Pence says he'll review school safety; no word on guns

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Gov.-elect Mike Pence announced plans Wednesday to conduct a thorough review of safety at Indiana schools in response to last week's school shootings in Connecticut.

"As we formulate our budget, we will be pursuing resources for a comprehensive evaluation of school security measures," Pence said.

Pence ducked questions about whether he would consider limits on gun ownership in Indiana in the wake of the shooting, although he hinted they would not get far with him. He declined to say if he would support limiting the number of bullets in a clip or if he would support arming select teachers to defend against any attacks.

"Hoosiers have rights, and we will see to protecting those rights. And we have responsibilities, especially to kids," he said. "This not about access to guns. This is about access to schools."

Pence talked about the review Wednesday as he announced new members of his growing administration. He said former Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Carter will become superintendent of the Indiana State Police.

Current state police Superintendent Paul Whitesell withdrew his name from consideration in the Pence administration after telling a legislative panel last month he supported legalizing and taxing marijuana.

"We had a good conversation with Dr. Whitesell. Before I made a final decision, he did indicate he was withdrawing his name for consideration and we respect his decision in that regard," Pence said. He did not say what reason Whitesell cited for pulling out.

Police spokesman Capt. Dave Bursten said Whitesell chose to pursue private employment elsewhere.

Pence has asked many members of Gov. Mitch Daniels' Cabinet to stay on through his term, and many have agreed. Daniels' Natural Resources Secretary Rob Carter added his name to that list Wednesday, saying he would serve with Pence.

Pence also announced other key appointments. Indianapolis City-County Councilman Jeff Cardwell is leaving his post with the city for a job as executive director of the Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives.

Ryan Streeter, a Pence campaign adviser and former domestic policy aide to former President George W. Bush, will help write economic policy for Pence. And Kara Brooks is leaving a job with the Indianapolis Department of Public Works to become Pence's spokeswoman.

Zac Jackson will work with Office of Management and Budget Director Chris Atkins and Dax Norton will work in Lt. Gov.-elect Sue Ellspermann's office as the head of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs.


  • I echo Sara
    Well stated, Sara. I couldn't agree more.
  • Coward
    Anyone - especially in a position of power and influence - who can arbitrarily decline to even discuss assault weapons as part of the cause of recent atrocities is either a coward worried about POTUS possibilities or an imbecile or both.
  • Get ready Indiana
    Sheesh, a real Profiles In Courage moment from Pence. Won't even talk about guns?!? Get ready Indiana, we will have four long years of this opportunistic nit wit in the Gov's office waiting for any opportunity to become relevant and make a run for the White House. BTW: never trust anyone who's greatest (and only) accomplishment in life is winning a popularity contest -- see Evan Bayh.
  • I need a table
    to keep track of who's in and who's out. Which agencies are still up in the air? INDOT, DNR, ISP are settled. Haven't seen anything about IDEM. Not sure what we're calling the various social agencies at the moment...

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  1. You are correct that Obamacare requires health insurance policies to include richer benefits and protects patients who get sick. That's what I was getting at when I wrote above, "That’s because Obamacare required insurers to take all customers, regardless of their health status, and also established a floor on how skimpy the benefits paid for by health plans could be." I think it's vital to know exactly how much the essential health benefits are costing over previous policies. Unless we know the cost of the law, we can't do a cost-benefit analysis. Taxes were raised in order to offset a 31% rise in health insurance premiums, an increase that paid for richer benefits. Are those richer benefits worth that much or not? That's the question we need to answer. This study at least gets us started on doing so.

  2. *5 employees per floor. Either way its ridiculous.

  3. Jim, thanks for always ready my stuff and providing thoughtful comments. I am sure that someone more familiar with research design and methods could take issue with Kowalski's study. I thought it was of considerable value, however, because so far we have been crediting Obamacare for all the gains in coverage and all price increases, neither of which is entirely fair. This is at least a rigorous attempt to sort things out. Maybe a quixotic attempt, but it's one of the first ones I've seen try to do it in a sophisticated way.

  4. In addition to rewriting history, the paper (or at least your summary of it) ignores that Obamacare policies now must provide "essential health benefits". Maybe Mr Wall has always been insured in a group plan but even group plans had holes you could drive a truck through, like the Colts defensive line last night. Individual plans were even worse. So, when you come up with a study that factors that in, let me know, otherwise the numbers are garbage.

  5. You guys are absolutely right: Cummins should build a massive 80-story high rise, and give each employee 5 floors. Or, I suppose they could always rent out the top floors if they wanted, since downtown office space is bursting at the seams (http://www.ibj.com/article?articleId=49481).