Gov. Pence explains vision in first address
Governor Mike Pence used his first State of the State address to push his agenda of a ten percent personal income tax cut, school vouchers and improved vocational training.
The newly-elected governor said job creation is job one, saying the income tax cut will lead to a $500 million infusion into the state's economy every year.
"By lowering taxes, small businesses will have more money to hire new employees, purchase new equipment and grow. By lowering the personal income tax rate by ten percent, it will be official: Indiana will be the lowest-taxed state in the Midwest," Pence said.
Republican legislative leaders have already expressed skepticism about a 10 percent cut in the income tax rate, which would come at the expense of more school spending.
Pence talked about the need to expand the school voucher program, pre-kindergarten and vocational education. Throughout his gubernatorial campaign, he said he believes it is time to make career, technical and vocational education a priority in Indiana.
"Even as we encourage every student to go to college, we recognize not every student is college bound. But they all deserve the same opportunity for success. Since all honest work is honorable work, our schools should work just as well for our kids who want to get a job as they do for our kids who want to get a college degree," the governor said.
The governor used three families' stories during the speech to call for an expansion of the 2011 schools overhaul, better services for veterans and new regional councils that would focus on vocational training for high school students.
But there was a part of his speech about school safety that he did not deliver.
The segment, which aides said was left out due to time, read, "While others have rushed to the well-worn arguments over gun control, Hoosiers know this is not about access to firearms. It is about access to schools. Hoosiers have responsibilities to protect our kids and Hoosiers have rights. We will protect our kids, and we will protect our rights."
Democrats responded to the omitted segment by encouraging a closer look at school security.
Indiana Dems say Pence not bold enough on jobs
The top Democrats in the Indiana Legislature say Republican Gov. Mike Pence isn't being bold enough in his proposals to help the state's economy and is rushing too quickly to expand the private school voucher system.
Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane of Anderson says Pence properly laid out the challenge of a million Indiana residents with inadequate job skills during his State of the State speech Tuesday night. But Lanane says the $18 million Pence proposed for job training isn't enough to fix the problem.
Pence called for expansion of the school voucher system, which House Minority Leader Scott Pelath of Michigan City says is still unproven since it's only in its second year. Pelath says voters want the state to slow down on school changes.
Pence drops sections over time
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he dropped some parts from his State of the State speech because he was running out of time.
The television broadcast allows a half hour for the governor's annual address, and Pence tells The Associated Press that as he neared the end of Tuesday night's speech he realized all of his prepared address wouldn't make it.
Pence omitted a section recalling a speech President Ronald Reagan gave to the Indiana General Assembly in which he supported the federal government giving more leeway to states.
Pence also skipped remarks in which he called the deadly Newtown, Conn., school shooting "every parent's worst nightmare" but said gun control isn't the answer. Pence's prepared speech said, "We will protect our kids, and we will protect our rights."
Pence forgoes teleprompter
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's first State of the State address has come off without use of a teleprompter.
Pence's gaze alternated between his prepared text on a podium and his audience in the chambers of the Indiana House of Representatives during the nearly 30-minute speech Tuesday night. He skipped over some portions of the speech that were in his prepared text.
It was his first major policy address since becoming governor Jan. 14.
Pence spokeswoman Christy Denault says Pence decided not to use a teleprompter because he doesn't like using a side-to-side teleprompter and the setup for the televised address didn't allow one in front of the podium.
Pence has plenty of communications experience: He hosted a syndicated radio program before being elected to Congress in 2000.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)