Pence Touts Progress, Pelath: Bar is 'Very Low'Posted: Updated:
Governor Mike Pence believes this year's legislative session has been marked by "real progress" on jobs, roads and schools. He points to bills that provide tax relief for businesses, pump hundreds of millions of dollars into road funding and establish a pre-kindergarten pilot program. House Democrat Leader Scott Pelath (D-9) says that effort and a measure that could launch a mass transit system in central Indiana are "a few crumbs for the myopic optimist to attach to." March 13, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS—Today the State of Indiana passed new tax cuts, provided the first-ever state funds for quality pre-kindergarten education for low-income children, and invested $400 million in roads and bridges. These achievements, along with measures to improve Indiana’s workforce and offer a tax credit for adoptive parents, top a long list of legislative achievements for Governor Mike Pence during the 2014 session of the Indiana General Assembly.
Governor Pence issued the following statement at the close of the 2014 session of the Indiana General Assembly. A video statement is available at: http://youtu.be/ldTuioUu-RY. An infographic recapping the 2014 session is attached.
“As the 2014 Indiana General Assembly draws to a close, every Hoosier will be glad to know that this session brought real progress on jobs, roads and schools. Efforts to reform taxes, invest in infrastructure and open doors of opportunity to quality pre-K education for disadvantaged kids all prove that a short session need not be short on accomplishments for Hoosiers.
“The work we have done has built on the success of the last legislative session and, I believe, will lead to a more prosperous future for Indiana. Last year, we achieved historic tax relief for Hoosier families. This year, we provided tax relief to Hoosier businesses to grow and create jobs. Last year, we dedicated tens of millions of dollars for Indiana’s roads and bridges. And this year, we are investing another 400 million dollars for projects to put Hoosiers to work now and make sure we remain the Crossroads of America. Last year, we expanded opportunities for low-income kids to attend the school of their choice. This year, for the first time ever, Indiana has funded pre-K education so low-income kids can start school ready to learn.
“Throughout this session, this General Assembly and our Administration have put Hoosier families and children first. We helped veterans and their families by expanding access to the Military Family Relief Fund. We improved the well-being of families by creating an Indiana adoption credit. We launched a comprehensive assessment of career and vocational education for our students, expanded adult high schools to help more workers earn a high school diploma, and created a new program for adult workers who need to improve their skills to reach their full potentials.
“And Hoosiers will be glad to know that most of what we accomplished was passed with broad and bipartisan support. So on behalf of every Hoosier, I offer my heartfelt thanks to each and every member of the 2014 Indiana General Assembly, especially House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long, for a job well done.
“Because members of the General Assembly worked together on behalf of Hoosiers, our economy will be stronger, our families will have more opportunities and, in a time of great challenge in our nation’s economy and politics, Indiana will continue to stand tall as a state that works.”
Learn more about the legislative bills heading to the Governor’s desk by visiting Bill Watch: www.in.gov/gov/2014billwatch.htm.
Enrolled acts signed by the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore are sent to the Office of the Lt. Governor for signature, are then returned to the Office to the Secretary of the Senate, and then go to the Office of the Governor. From there, the Governor reviews all legislation and has seven days to sign or veto the bill. If he does not sign it, it automatically becomes law on the eighth day after receipt.Source: Office of the Indiana Governor
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath from Michigan City today issued the following statement on the 2014 session of the Indiana General Assembly:
“To adequately describe the worthlessness of the latest legislative session, one must look at what was said by Ed Ziegner of the Indianapolis News after the first legislative short session back in 1972:
“‘It has been a bad session in about every way a session can be bad, which is a good many.’
“When the true standard for creativity is set in trying to explain to the people of Indiana that many things have been done on their behalf these past two and a half months – as the governor and the leaders of his super-majorities have tried to do today – you know that the bar of accomplishment is very low.
“There will be a few crumbs for the myopic optimist to attach to: at long, long last, a semblance of a pre-K program in Indiana, as well as the beginnings of a mass transit system in our state.
“But those are precious few threads to attach to when the needs of the people of Indiana are too many. And in those areas, this governor and his super-majorities failed miserably.
“What have we done to reverse the 10-year decline in the household incomes of Hoosiers? What have we done to stop the pay equity gap between Hoosier working men and women? What have we done to increase the number of Hoosiers with a college degree?
“Why, we cut corporate taxes...again. For good measure, we cut the financial institutions tax...again. We also did a bunch of things with the business personal property tax that won’t take effect for a few years.
“These things combine to create a wonderful ‘jobless creation’ plan. These ideas will make shareholders and the very rich happy, but they won’t do one thing to create jobs for Hoosiers now, and they certainly won’t do a thing to pay decent wages to our middle class.
“They are the perfect centerpieces for a session that was dominated by one matter: the insistence on putting the people of this state through more ugly, divisive debate on who can marry whom in Indiana.
“I am proud to say that Indiana House Democrats sought to do more.
“We tried to increase the minimum wage and the earned income tax credit. We offered a package of initiatives (restoration of the Small Business Innovation Program, establishing Manufacturing Reinvestment Accounts and creating an Indiana Goes Back to Work Tax Credit) that could have inspired business owners to hire people now.
“We tried to get an extra $500 million in state funding for improving our streets, roads and bridges. We tried to help firefighters, police and EMTs get the funds they needed to purchase equipment to keep our communities safe.
“We asked for greater accountability from the state’s Inspector General, the State Board of Finance, the Indiana Attorney General and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. We tried to eliminate waste in state government bureaucracy by getting rid of the redundant Center for Education and Career Innovation (CECI).
“We found little support for these initiatives from the House super-majority. But there were some successes.
“Thanks to the tireless efforts of State Rep. Christina Hale (D-Indianapolis), we will begin to study the reasons why Indiana has such appalling numbers of sexual assault of teen girls.
“And we at least got the governor and his super-majorities to understand the need to keep our best and brightest in Indiana by offering budding teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) incentives to stay in our state to practice their c