Pence pitches plan to jumpstart Indiana economy
BY Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org August 9, 2012 10:42PM
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence
Updated: September 11, 2012 6:21AM
After touring Portage company Glenmount Global Solutions, U.S. Rep. Mike Pence said Thursday evening that he wants to keep Indiana’s economy moving forward to drive even more business in the state.
The Republican nominee for Indiana governor then detailed to several local business and political leaders how he wants to do that, including what he calls his centerpiece, cutting the state income tax rate by 10 percent.
“It’s how we really relight the pilot light (on the economy),” he said.
Pence insisted that lowering the tax rate was the best and most widespread way to help businesses and local families. At the same time, he said, his plan would allow the state to continue putting money into reserve funds to help its financial stability.
He also talked of his plan, if elected to office, to immediately create a moratorium on any new regulations for businesses. He would then use that time period to study existing regulations, Pence said, to see if any of them were out of date or not needed.
Pence insisted that the state can still protect the environment and people’s health.
“I believe we can have common sense regulations,” he said, pointing to Portage, which he called a good example of an area that has both promoted industry but also focused on the environment by building the new Portage Lakefront Park.
Some people at the meeting expressed concerns about new regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, though. Portage Mayor James Snyder told Pence of the EPA’s move to rule Northwest Indiana has having nonattainment on certain air pollution levels because of test readings taken in Illinois near Chicago. That ruling can hurt the city in attracting new businesses, he said.
Pence said issues like that are why he thinks the governor needs to be the state’s No. 1 champion with the federal government.
He also mentioned his effort to work with U.S. Rep. Peter Visclosky, D-Merrillville, in fighting to keep Lake Michigan waterways open through the threat of Asian carp.
Mark Maassel, president of the Northwest Indiana Forum, praised Pence’s promise to focus on improving vocational training in high school and said the candidate should also work to let young students know that industry jobs can be high-paying ones. Too many students don’t realize that many of those workers can make $70,000 or more a year and instead focus only on college.
“It’s a big obstacle we run into,” Maassel said.
Pence said he didn’t want to discourage anyone from going to college but said not everyone wants to go. For those who don’t, the state should help them to be ready to start a career as soon as they graduate from high school, Pence said.
Pence’s tour of Glenmount is part of a statewide tour he started six months ago where he stops at various companies across the state.