Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana


March 31, 2014

BRIAN HOWEY: Pence earns modest legislative achievements

Administration wasn't prepared for session, sources say


The buzz throughout the session was the Pence administration was not as prepared as it could have been for a second session. Most gave the new governor a pass in 2013 when he had to build an administration, create a legislative agenda and write a $30 billion biennial budget. But this session found the administration treading in similar waters. An influential state senator told me he was approached about carrying the governor’s education agenda in December. Questions to the administration on who was carrying the governor’s package went unanswered as 2013 rolled into 2014.

The contrast with the Daniels modus operandi is striking. Senate sources tell me Daniels’ legislative package began assemblage in late summer. It would be scored fiscally in early fall, and bill sponsors would be lined up in early to mid-fall. His legislative liaisons were conspicuous, vigorous and accessible. The Pence legislative liaisons, multiple members have told me, were late in developing legislation, unprepared for fiscal impacts, blew off meetings with legislators, gave little direction, and were largely missing in action.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma was asked about working with the Pence team. “The governor was very encouraging,” Bosma said. “The details were worked out by legislative leaders, but the governor was very encouraging on adoption of each of these initiatives. We kept him apprised at all times.”

So Daniels used massive amounts of political capital to push the multi-billion dollar Major Moves, and his internal polling showed his approval fell south of 40 percent (though he won re-election two years later with 58 percent of the vote). Pence pushed the important pre-K program in a non-budgetary year, with Republican fiscal leaders refusing to reopen the budget. He ended up with a five-county pilot program funded with tiny budget revisions.

His top priority — the repeal of the business personal property tax — essentially ended up in a blue ribbon study commission, while Senate Bill 1 gives counties the option to repeal the tax and larger counties the ability to provide “super abatements.” The governor emphasized the tax repeal, while Republican-dominated city and county governments resisted with the most cohesion displayed in decades. And when the dust settled, Senate President David Long was boasting about the corporate tax cut — the “linchpin” of the session’s tax policy — calling it “more important” with the potential for the “biggest dividends.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 23, 2014

  • CECIL BOHANON: Spend down surplus? Been there, done that Back in 1998, the state of Indiana had more than $1.3 billion in surplus funds in its general account. This was about 57 days of state spending. The state had total surplus funds of more than $2 billion that was over 24 percent of its annual operatin

    July 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Indiana Democrats deal with divide on education On the face of it, the battles between Democratic Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and supporters and staff of Republican Gov. Mike Pence have been a unifying force for Indiana Democrats. But the scrapping has exposed a deep rift within the party o

    July 22, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Is Evan Bayh contemplating another gubernatorial run? This could be the saga of “LeBron Bayh.”Like a thunderhead brewing in the distance, you could see this one coming. This was the progression: former state Democratic Chairman Dan Parker announces he will not become a candidate for mayor of Indianapoli

    July 21, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Please go away already My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven't caught up. I don't have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m

    July 21, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Internet, and future of communication One morning, I was chatting with some retired folks and the subject of paying bills on the Internet came up. One woman said she disposed of her computer years ago and pays her bills by mail. I commented she could get by just fine doing that. The othe

    July 20, 2014

  • FAITH BRAUTIGAM: Learning from others' mistakes through literature If you’ve ever been locked out of somewhere — your home, your car, your workplace — I expect you could tell me all the details of the incident, even if it was years or decades ago. Why? Our brains remember major events, and it’s a big deal to be stra

    July 20, 2014

  • RAY DAY: We need to get tough Last year I said I was going to quit trying to do anything about the shooting off of fireworks in the neighborhoods. But as anyone who knows me can say, I don't give up on things that are of utmost danger. Here it was, a week before the Fourth of Jul

    July 19, 2014

  • LEE HAMILTON: Is this country doomed to ceaseless polarization? We Americans are trapped in a political dilemma. We all like representative democracy, but we don't much like the way it's performing. The reason for this dissatisfaction is clear. Polls in recent years detail a polarized nation, divided both ideolog

    July 18, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller