Mt. Vernon Register-News

CNHI Special Projects

March 12, 2013

Pence finds new role ‘fundamentally different’

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mike Pence has made no secret that his Christian faith is critical to his identity, but he may be relying on his faith more than ever before in his challenging new political role.  

On Tuesday morning, the Republican Pence greeted a bipartisan audience of legislators and other participants at the Indiana Leadership Prayer Breakfast with a reminder that there are “no politics in prayer.”

But after spending his first eight weeks in office locked in an intra-party fight with legislators over his signature campaign promise as he transitions from Congress to the Statehouse, politics may be affecting his prayers.

During a lunchtime briefing with Statehouse reporters Tuesday, Pence described his short time in the governor’s office as an “extraordinary couple of months” and “fundamentally different” than his six terms in Congress.

“The only way my prayer life has changed in the last few months is in its frequency,” Pence said, in a response to a question about his faith. “A little more frequent. It is where I draw my strength.”

Pence pledged to stay strong on his top legislative priority: getting a 10 percent reduction in Indiana’s personal income tax rate written into the budget bill that’s now moving through the General Assembly.

But he’s yet to lock down the support of Republican legislative leaders, whom Pence expected to be his allies.

“It’s fundamentally different,” is how Pence described his new role as executive. “Our state’s founders and our nation’s founders designed a system of limited government that has checks and balances and it’s been fascinating for me to be on the other side of that check and balance,” he said.

Fascinating but not easy. Republicans who control the Statehouse have so far rejected his tax cut plan, calling unsustainable the $500 million hit it would take on state revenues annually.

The House-approved budget bill, now in the Senate, doesn’t contain the tax cut and spends more of the state’s $2 billion surplus instead on roads and schools.

Facing that opposition, Pence has taken his tax cut plea to the people, traveling the state to convince voters to pressure legislators to put his tax cut back into the budget.  

“I am strongly committed to taking a portion of Indiana’s historic surplus and providing across-the-board income tax relief for every Hoosier,” Pence said, repeating part of the message he’s taken on the road.  

Under Pence’s plan, the income tax rate would drop from 3.4 percent to 3.06 percent. The average Hoosier’s taxes would fall only by about $100. Pence said the amount may be small but collectively has impact.

“The issue is not about whether the money would get spent, it’s about who would spend it better,” Pence said, adding: “I think people would spend it better and more efficiently and more wisely in the economy, in ways that will create growth and opportunity better than any government ever will.”

It’s an argument that hasn’t resonated with the fiscally conservative Republicans in the Indiana General Assembly, who question the wisdom of cutting more taxes, after a series of tax cuts they’ve made in recent years.  

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma said his priorities are more focused on ensuring fiscal stability and less on granting Pence his campaign promise. Bosma recently told the Wall Street Journal: “My encouragement to everyone is to look at long-term sustainability and not just an election cycle.”

Pence declined to answer a question about whether he’d veto a budget bill that doesn’t include his tax cut, repeating instead his comments that he’s “strongly committed” to the plan.  

“Having been a working legislator, I continue to be optimistic we’re going to work this out,” Pence said. “It’s going to be a win for Hoosiers.”

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

 

1
Text Only
CNHI Special Projects
  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • weightloss.jpg The scales of injustice: Weight loss differs between men, women

    You're not imagining it: There really are differences between the way men and women diet, lose weight and respond to exercise.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drug dealers going corporate

    A top federal official on Tuesday said that 105 banks and credit unions are doing business with legal marijuana sellers, suggesting that federal rules giving financial institutions the go-ahead to provide services to dealers are starting to work.

    August 13, 2014

  • wwimemorial.jpg The benefit of World War I omission on the Washington Mall

    By 1982, when the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened on the National Mall, something had shifted in the way we remember our wars. A national memorial, prominently placed on the nation's most symbolically significant public space, came to seem like an essential dignity offered to veterans, their families and the memory of those who gave their lives. But there is an exception.

    August 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • In Japan, ramen aficionados worry their favorite dish is coming off the boil

    "The ramen boom has ended," said Ivan Orkin, a New Yorker who first traveled to Japan in the 1980s and now owns two noodle-soup restaurants in Tokyo. "A boom implies that there are new avenues and new growth to pursue, and that's not the case in Japan anymore."

    August 11, 2014

  • Ronnie Ellis: U.S. Senate race trail long and interesting

    By Ronnie Ellis/CNHI News Service

    FRANKFORT — Last week was a long one, endured under the onslaught of an awful summer cold and played out across the commonwealth. It began in Fancy Farm and ended it in Corbin with a trip to Hazard in between.

    August 9, 2014

  • Senate race becomes family affair

    By LANA BELLAMY
    CNHI NEWS SERVICE
    PAINTSVILLE — U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell got personal on Friday while calling a report inaccurate concerning his wife’s role as a board member in an organization that funds anti-coal efforts.

    August 9, 2014

  • Dennis Beighley led out of courthouse Mother, grandparents face attempted murder charges in starvation case

    Cheers and applause erupted in a courtroom when a pregnant mother from Pennsylvania accused of starving her then-7-year-old son was remanded to jail, along with the boy’s grandparents.

    August 8, 2014 2 Photos

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks