Indiana governor: State will be OK despite sequestration
By Matt Mikus firstname.lastname@example.org February 27, 2013 3:02PM
Updated: April 1, 2013 11:47AM
INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mike Pence said Indiana should weather the storm caused by sequestration due to the state’s strong fiscal health.
Pence added he was “reasonably satisfied” with progress in the 2013 state legislative session.
The governor, just back from the National Governors Association conference in Washington, D.C., said he spoke with Indiana legislators and President Barack Obama about the effects of the sequester, which will start $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts over the next 10 years, with about $85 billion slated for this year. The cuts are designed to be spread across all aspects of federal government.
Pence said the cuts are necessary to help reduce the federal government’s over-spending, but he said a more intelligent approach to cutting could be found.
“We are urging the administration and members of both political parties to find smarter and better spending cuts and reductions,” Pence said. “The good news for Hoosiers is we are in a position to mitigate the effects of sequestration in Indiana.”
He pointed to the federal government cutting $26.2 billion in primary and special education. Indiana recent budgets places $27 million for the state’s early childhood education.
Pence also touched on the legislative session, saying 30 of 42 of his objectives ranging from jobs to education have begun to move through the General Assembly.
But asked about the state income tax, he is still “disappointed in the House budget.”
“Indiana doesn’t have to choose between funding for roads and schools and the income tax cut,” he said.
Pence’s tax cut has gained support from state Democrats, who say the tax cut has been a victim of Republican in-party fighting.
“I’ve never seen the tax cut have less enthusiasm in the Indiana Senate than I have with this one,” Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, said. “Having said that, I think there will be some attempt to find some tax cut.”
But Senate Republican leader David Long of Fort Wayne said he and other lawmakers remain concerned about costs that could come in the near future.