Gov. Pence signs first executive orders

Gov. Mike Pence
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Gov. Mike Pence has signed his first executive orders after being sworn in as Indiana's 50th governor Monday morning.

The governor signed six new orders which address ethics practices for state government, government efficiency and transparency, and impose a moratorium on new regulations.

The orders also require certain state agencies to develop family impact statements, set a goal of procuring three percent of state contracts from veteran-owned businesses, and establish a separate Office of Energy Development.

Pence proposed the family impact statements during his campaign. He says he wants to ensure that "intact married families" aren't hurt by state rules. He says the reviews aren't meant to disadvantage single-parent or other families.

Another order signed by the Republican governor switches the state board overseeing teacher contract negotiations so that it reports to the governor's office. Former Gov. Mitch Daniels transferred that board in 2011 to the state schools superintendent's office. Democrat Glenda Ritz took over that office Monday from Republican Tony Bennett.

Pence also signed eight orders continuing various boards and offices and continuing Western Governors University Indiana.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma, Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long, Democratic House Minority Leader Scott Pelath and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane met with the new governor for about an hour Monday afternoon.

The leaders said they talked mostly about workforce development during their meeting in Pence's Statehouse office. Bosma says Pence looked for areas of bipartisan agreement. Long says it will be a change for Pence from the rancor of Washington that he experienced as a congressman.

Statement from Republican Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma:

"I have known Gov. Pence since our law school days; he is a man of great integrity and will lead our state to our shared goals of fiscal integrity and job creation. I have had the privilege of working with Lt. Gov. Ellspermann when she was a legislator in our chamber. Together, we will reach our mutual goal of taking Indiana 'from good to great.' "

From Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson): 

"I told the governor I appreciated his comments about being the governor of all the people. While it's obvious, I think it was important for him to have said that and for the people of Indiana to hear that."

From Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker:

"We wish Gov. Pence the best on his first day in office, and we look forward to seeing his full legislative agenda soon. We hope it will focus, as he pledged, on jobs and the economy and not on issues that will divide our state and put certain Hoosiers at a significant disadvantage."  

Indiana Republican Party Chairman Eric Holcomb:

"With Gov. Mike Pence and Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann at the helm, Indiana's greatest days lie ahead."

The contours of Pence's first-year agenda are slowly taking shape now that he has assumed office and the key strokes will likely come in coordination with the General Assembly.

Pence was set to meet with his economic development team later Monday. 

New Executive Orders:

Directive to name an agency ethics officer and to hold an annual legal and ethics conference

To promote transparency and integrity, this Executive Order mandates good, sound ethical practices which are currently in practice in State government. This includes requiring every state agency to name an ethics officer and requiring the Inspector General's office to hold a legal and ethics conference every year.

Promoting government efficiency, transparency, and superior performance through Program Assessment Comprehensive Evaluation (PACE)

This Executive Order ensures that taxpayer dollars are being spent efficiently and that Hoosiers can more easily see how their tax dollars are being spent. The order calls for a review of programs (PACE) that will allow the Pence Administration to review all agency performance metrics and requires OMB to develop a plan for performance-based budgeting. The review will help create user-friendly measures of performance that will be reported on the Indiana Transparency Portal. It also requires that the State develop a plan for making all state contracts electronically searchable on the portal.

Promoting job creation, economic development, and freedom by ordering a moratorium on regulations

In an effort to cut red tape, this Executive Order temporarily stops the creation of new regulations until the Office of Management and Budget can assess the costs and benefits of current regulations and recommend ways to reduce regulatory burdens. Exclusions are made for regulations needed to create jobs, reduce state spending, repeal existing rules, or address cases of emergency, health or safety.

Creation of family impact statements in certain Indiana state departments and agencies

Recognizing the economic advantages that intact married families offer children, this Executive Order requires the following agencies to assess the impact any new regulation will have on families by developing a Family Impact Statement:

· Family and Social Services Administration

· Department of Workforce Development

· Department of Child Services

· State Department of Health

· Department of Correction, and

· Criminal Justice Institute, including its Victim Services Division

The Family Impact Statements are a tool agencies will use to ensure that new regulations do not discourage the formation and well-being of intact married families, ensuring that all families have a level playing field.

Establishment of the "veteran business enterprise preference" presumption

This Executive Order establishes a goal of procuring three percent of state contracts from veteran-owned businesses, similar to, but not competing with the goals for, women-owned and minority-owned businesses. It recognizes the higher-than-average unemployment among veterans and seeks to increase job opportunities and encourage entrepreneurship among veterans.

Creation of the Indiana Office of Energy Development

Acknowledging the importance of low-cost energy to Indiana's economy, this Executive Order separates the Office of Energy and Defense Development (OEDD) into the Office of Energy Development (OED) and the Office of Defense Development (ODD). It tasks OED with developing and implementing a comprehensive energy plan for the state. It calls for ODD to focus on the growth of the state's defense assets and industries.

Rescinding Executive Order 11-07:

This Executive Order requires the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board to return to its historical practice of reporting to the Governor.

Continuing Executive Orders:

Continuation of the Governor's Emergency Advisory Group

Continuation of the Indiana Toll Road Oversight Board

Continuation of the Indiana State Trauma Care Committee

Continuation of the Office Of Public Finance

Continuation of the Indiana State Historical Records Advisory Board

Continuing WGU Indiana in partnership with Western Governors University to expand higher education opportunities for Hoosiers through on-line competency-based education. 

Continuation of the Office of Disaster Recovery

Continuing the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and the Indiana Commission on Community Service and Volunteerism

Read more here.