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Friday, February 10, 2017

Ind. Gov't. - "With Pence gone, fellow Republicans undo his work in Indiana"

This story by Tony Cook, Chelsea Schneider and Kaitlin L. Lange of the Indianapolis Star is in today's USA TODAY. Some quotes:

INDIANAPOLIS — Vice President Mike Pence's fellow Republicans took a number of steps Thursday to undo his policies, just weeks after the former governor left Indiana for the White House.

His handpicked successor and former lieutenant governor, Gov. Eric Holcomb, began the day with a news conference where he announced that he was canceling contract negotiations to lease state-owned cellphone towers to an Ohio company. The Pence administration had struck a tentative deal with the company and promised it would cover the cost of more than $50 million in bicentennial construction projects he initiated.

Holcomb also pardoned Keith Cooper, who was wrongfully convicted of robbery nearly 20 years ago, and declared a disaster emergency for an East Chicago neighborhood where residents have been forced to relocate because of lead contamination. * * *

Holcomb's decision to change directions on those issues are the latest indication that his approach to governing may be more pragmatic and less ideological than that of his predecessor.

Last month, Holcomb said he supported local needle exchange programs to stop the spread of disease among drug abusers. Pence opposed giving local officials that ability. Holcomb has also said he supports tax increases as an option to pay for road work, which Pence opposed last year. * * *

Even as Holcomb was announcing his executive actions in his second-floor office at the Statehouse, lawmakers in the General Assembly — where Republicans have supermajorities in both chambers — were in the process of overriding two of Pence's vetoes from last year.

Pence had vetoed a measure lawmakers passed in 2016 that would have allowed private university police departments to keep many of their records secret. House lawmakers voted 93-2 to overturn the veto.

Pence also struck down a measure last year that would have prevented state environmental regulators from establishing rules stricter than federal rules until the General Assembly had an opportunity to review them. The House voted 65-29 to override that veto. * * *

Senate leader David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said he expects his chamber to vote in favor of overriding the vetoes as well.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 10, 2017 09:41 AM
Posted to Indiana Government