- Gerry Dick
Scads of Bills Await Pence's PenPosted: Updated:
With the 2016 legislative session in the books, a full slate of bills awaits final approval from Governor Mike Pence. If Pence does not sign or veto a bill by Thursday, it would automatically become law. Monday, Pence will sign several bills dealing with the fight against drug abuse and the so-called ABLE Act.
Three of the measures were a result of the Governor's Task For on Drug Enforcement Treatment and Prevention. ABLE is an acronym for Achieving a Better Life Experience and it involves a savings program for families of people with disabilities. You can find out more about Monday's signings by clicking here.
You can connect to the full list of measures on the governor's desk by clicking here.
Pence said he was "pleased beyond words" with the results of the General Assembly. The House and Senate gaveled out March 10th, four days before the mandatory end of session.
Though he admits he did not get everything he was asking for during the short session, he touted a number of measures that focused on priorities such as jobs and economic development, education and what he characterized as legislation to fight "the scourge of drug abuse."
Two of the Governor's highest-profile initiatives were funded at or near the levels he was seeking. A mega transportation bill was cleared by the House and Senate that will put more than $1 billion toward fixing ailing roads and bridges. A third allocation of $42 million also received approval to cover an additional region in the statewide Regional Cities Initiative.
House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88) said the legislature made "significant progress was made on big issues facing Indiana." His counterpart, House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-9), called the transportation legislation "a measurable success," but said the legislature a whole has a long way to go.
Senate President Pro Tempore David Long (R-16) says GOP lawmakers "delivered," while Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D-25) says the 2016 General Assembly was "defined by missed opportunities."