Indiana to feel sting of national stalemate over budget
By Kevin Rader, WTHR political reporter - bio | email
Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN)
Governor Mike Pence is still optimistic about chances for his proposed ten-percent income tax cut despite the plan not being included in the Republican-led $30 billion state budget.
Pence expressed disappointment last week that House Republicans decided to restore millions of dollars in education cuts and to pay for road construction and repairs in lieu of granting him the income tax cut he campaigned on.
On Wednesday, the governor says lawmakers tell him if April revenue figures are as strong December's, he still could get that cut by the end of the legislative session in April.
However, the federal government budget cuts known as sequestration are the wild card. The cuts go into effect if no deal is reached by Friday, and they could affect his ten-percent income tax plan.
"We are currently evaluating the impact of sequestration on any number of programs here in the Hoosiers state. The administration has told us that they were seeking ways within the law to mitigate the impact of sequestration on various agencies within the states, and we welcome that. I personally urge the president to be open to the administration being given greater flexibility in the deployment of those spending deductions," said Gov. Pence. "I'm still hopeful that before the deadline of this Friday that Congress and the administration will find a better way to find these important savings."
Pence went on to point out that the only way he's in favor of the expansion of Medicaid is if the federal government approves Indiana using the state's Healthy Indiana Plan. Pence says if that happens, he favors expansion, but otherwise, he doesn't want to take any more money from the federal government because, as Pence puts it, "Washington is broke."