Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

March 15, 2013

Pence finds new role ‘fundamentally different’

— INDIANAPOLIS  -- Indiana 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 impacting 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 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
Local News
  • Clawson in Batesville Clawson wins special primary in southwest Florida

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Armed robbery investigated

    An early morning armed robbery April 22 at K & K Mini Mart, 332 S. Meridian St., Sunman, is being investigated, according to a press release from the Ripley County Sheriff's Office.

    April 22, 2014

  • Ten submit bids for demolition of structure SUNMAN - Sunman Town Council members covered a lot of ground at their April 17 meeting. Bids for the demolition of the former Ripley-Ohio-Dearborn Special Education Cooperative building were opened. Ten contractors submitted bids, ranging from $86,95

    April 22, 2014

  • Circle these dates on summer calendar On its 41st anniversary, a new headliner will open the three-night Batesville Music and Arts Festival. "A Summer Evening in the Park" is the theme of a performance by the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra Wednesday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m. at Liberty Park. C

    April 22, 2014

  • nws - bv042214 - Bradley, Rob Three Republicans set sights on sheriff's office Three Republicans, are competing for Ripley County sheriff. They come from a variety of backgrounds, but all want to do their part to make the county safer for its citizens. Rob Bradley says, "My motivation for wanting to be sheriff has been a part

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • nws - bv042214 - Thompson, Josh Two Democrats running for sheriff Two Ripley County residents are vying for sheriff on the Democratic ticket. Josh Thompson wants the job "to help this county tackle the drug issues and break-ins and to make the people of this county feel safe." Timothy Sutton says, "I don't look at

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Citizens asked to take parks survey An online survey is being conducted now to solicit community input on park needs, possible projects and project prioritization. Answers will help the Batesville Parks and Recreation Board formulate a five-year master plan, required by the Indiana Dep

    April 22, 2014

  • nws - bv042214 - BBW (recycling speaker) Local recycling center considered Mayor Rick Fledderman and Aaron Bell, Southeastern Indiana Recycling District executive director, have been working for several years to try to get a recycling center for rural residents in Batesville. At the April 14 Batesville Board of Works meeti

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Statistics show need for active living During an April 10 Active Living Workshop in Batesville, organizers Zia Brucaya, Indiana Complete Streets Coalition coordinator with the nonprofit Health by Design; Lindsey Bouza, Indiana State Department of Health Division of Nutrition and Physical

    April 22, 2014

  • nws - bv041814 - Main Street Indiana speaker Main Street committees will be formed The Batesville Main Street organization is moving forward. About 30 supporters attended the April 9 meeting at the Sherman House to hear Shae Kmicikewycz, Indiana Main Street, Indianapolis, program manager, give an overview of suggested committees an

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo