Greensburg — The following is a copy of Gov. Mike Pence's State of the State address.
State of the State
Governor Michael R. Pence
January 22, 2013
As prepared for delivery:
Speaker Bosma, President Pro Tem Long, Lt. Governor Ellspermann, Senator
Representative Pelath, members of the General Assembly and Judiciary,
guests, my fellow Hoosiers:
I am honored to stand before you today as governor of all the people of
and I know that, together, we will write the next great chapter of
Thank you for that warm welcome. To my colleagues gathered here I say, my
will not be as brief as last week's inaugural address, but your feet will
Article V, of the Constitution of the State of Indiana provides that the
shall "give to the General Assembly information touching the condition of
and recommend such measures as he shall judge to be expedient."
In discharging that duty, I come before you to proclaim that the state of
is strong and growing stronger because we have good government and
because we serve
a great people. If we will remain bold, confident and optimistic, I am
we can lead our state from good to great.
Hoosiers owe a debt of gratitude to all the leaders gathered in this
of your service in the recent past, our state has become the fiscal envy
nation and a model from how good government works.
We have balanced budgets and surpluses when most states are broke or
We are one of only nine states with a AAA bond rating-higher than the
But while we rightly celebrate our progress, these are still difficult
too many in our state.
As we gather this evening, a quarter million Hoosiers are out of work,
one million Hoosiers lack the skills they need to succeed in today's
Despite progress in education, too many of our schools are still lagging
some way behind.
And, especially heartbreaking to this father, one in five Hoosier
in poverty. That is unacceptable.
With so many families and businesses struggling just to get by, we have
but to remain bold.
We have to do better.
And doing better starts with the right priorities. It starts by adopting
that says "yes" to our future and believes in the unlimited potential of
It all starts by making job creation job one.
That's why on day one of our administration, I signed a moratorium on any
to ensure that Indiana is not burdening Hoosier employers with
unnecessary red tape.
And that's why we proposed a jobs budget last week.
Our budget is honestly balanced, holds the line on spending, funds our
builds our reserves and lets hardworking Hoosiers keep more of what they
Let's be clear: Government doesn't create jobs, other than government
government can create the conditions where people can be the risk takers,
and workers who will create the jobs and opportunities of tomorrow.
And everything starts with fiscal discipline, the surest foundation for
I believe our State must live within its means and never spend a single
than it collects.
So, first, we have submitted an honestly balanced budget, with no tax
Second, our budget holds the line on spending.
I believe the government budget should never grow faster than the family
Our budget is a full percentage point less than inflation. By holding
on spending, Indiana can continue to stand out as a beacon of fiscal
state that knows how to fund its priorities in a responsible way.
And our budget funds our priorities:
Our budget proposes an increase in funding for education, including full
and fully funds teacher pensions each of the next two years. As a result,
represents 64 percent of all state expenditures.
In addition, we provide $18 million over two years to ensure that all
have the skills to find a job in today's economy.
And since roads mean jobs, we're investing nearly $347 million in excess
on Indiana's roads, bridges and infrastructure.
Our budget creates a partnership with Indiana's life sciences industry
and our universities,
to spur research and produce high-paying jobs.
And because Indiana is agriculture we envision our state becoming a hub
and agricultural breakthroughs by supporting an Agriculture Innovation
Our budget also ensures that the Indiana Economic Development Corporation
equipped to both attract more business and investment to Indiana and
greater transparency and accountability to the public.
And lastly, our budget keeps faith with those to whom we owe the most.
It was Abraham Lincoln who said we must, "care for him who shall have
battle." But in Indiana, our veterans are hurting, and they need our
Hoosier veterans have an unemployment rate higher than the national
have to do better. We owe these heroes nothing less. Heroes like Big Tim
He got that nickname on the football team at Hagerstown High School,
where he graduated
in 2006. He decided to join the U.S. Army and arrived in Afghanistan on
deployment in 2009. One night in June, driving through a village, their
under attack. An RPG (rocket propelled grenade) exploded on the door,
plating through it, destroying Tim's left leg. Nevertheless, Tim Wysong
to hold the 350-pound door shut until they were able to stop, likely
lives of everyone in the vehicle. He's had close to two dozen surgeries.
recent one was done a year ago in August. Last fall he got married and
did his first
Big Tim Wysong is an American hero, and Big Tim is with us tonight.
Our budget makes a clear commitment to Hoosiers who have served their
uniform by investing more money in job training and certifying Veteran
I have also set a goal to procure 3 percent of state contracts from
businesses. They stepped forward for us, now it's our turn.
And, finally, our budget puts taxpayers first.
Government should only collect what it needs. When government collects
it needs, it should return that money to the hardworking taxpayers who
in the first place. That's why I'm proposing we lower income taxes by 10
across the board, for every Hoosier over the next two years
Hoosiers work hard. They labor in a fragile economy. They save and invest
families and businesses and family farms. Why wouldn't we want them to
of what they earn?
Now, I know there are some who say we have to choose between letting the
of Indiana keep more of their hard-earned dollars and meeting the state's
As our budget clearly shows, we can do both.
The budget I submitted last week is honestly balanced, funds our
by 10 percent the tax bill Hoosiers currently pay, and still maintains
well in excess of the resources we would need to meet emergency and
So let's be honest with our fellow Hoosiers: We can afford to do this.
But why cut taxes now?
First, at a time when federal taxes have just gone up on all working
small businesses and family farms and our medical device industry, now
ever, Hoosiers could use some tax relief.
Second, this reduction in taxes will unleash half a billion dollars into
voluntary economy every year. Letting Hoosiers keep more dollars to
or save will be good for Indiana families and businesses.
Third, reducing the personal income tax rate is the best way to lower
taxes on small
businesses and family farms. Ninety-two percent of Hoosier small
their taxes under the individual income tax rate. By lowering taxes,
will have more money to hire new employees, purchase new equipment and
Fourth, by lowering the personal income tax rate by 10 percent, it will
Indiana will be the lowest taxed state in the Midwest. Companies who are
have one more reason to expand and we will give businesses outside
Indiana one more
reason to move to the Hoosier state.
Because we can afford to cut taxes for every Hoosier, I believe we
should. And on
behalf of millions of hardworking Hoosiers, small businesses and family
respectfully ask for your support.
Our jobs budget is all about getting this economy moving, but we can't
the marketplace if we don't succeed in the classroom.
We have to put kids first and ensure that every child in Indiana has
access to a
world-class education at public school, public charter school, private
I'm sure everyone in this Chamber has a favorite teacher. Mine is sitting
up there in the balcony-our new First Lady Karen Pence.
My wife Karen has spent her career in the classroom. We both believe
a calling, and Indiana has the best teachers in the world.
When most people tell you about their favorite teacher, they tell you
one who pushed them the hardest, who challenged them to grow; the teacher
them to a high standard.
Those teachers know that setting high expectations works. We believe
Indiana teachers and schools have shown that they will rise to the
make tremendous gains for our children. This October, we learned that
received the highest school ranking for the first time. Forty-three
up three letter grades. Twenty-eight schools moved from the lowest
ranking to a
mid-ranking. This is a testament to the commitment and excellence of our
and proof that our accountability system produces gains for our schools.
When it comes to our public schools, I believe we should fund excellence
schools and our teachers.
That's why we proposed an increase in funding for schools each of the
next two years,
with the second year based on school performance and an additional $6
teacher excellence grants to increase pay for our high-performing
We must continue to take steps to ensure that every third grader can
read, to promote
math proficiency by elementary students and to invest in highly
prevention programs like Jobs for America's Graduates.
And our administration also will work with our new Superintendent of
to cut the red tape that teachers face in the classroom, and let them
children will get the best education when good teachers have the freedom
and are rewarded for excellence.
I have long believed that parents should be able to choose where their
go to school, regardless of their income. We must continue to expand
opportunities, especially for those with the fewest resources, beginning
High-quality early education programs can have immediate and long-term
effects for our kids. Many communities across Indiana are already
to provide pre-K programs for at-risk children. One of the best examples
Busy Bees Academy in Columbus, which serves at-risk and disadvantaged
my hometown. Let's work together to expand incentives for Hoosiers to
kind of innovative, community-driven pre-K effort for our low-income
In recent years, Indiana has given parents who previously had few choices
to choose the public or private school that best meets the needs of their
This fall, more than 9,000 students attended a school of their choice.
Like Kennedy Davis and her brother Isaiah. The Davis family, from
used the voucher program to send Kennedy to first grade at Trader's Point
Academy. She's a second grader there now and her brother Isaiah is in
thanks, in part, to Indiana's school scholarship and tax credit program.
and Isaiah are thriving. They're with us today. Keep it up, kids,
Indiana is proud
of both of you!
We've made progress in expanding choices, but we can do more. Expanding
tax deductions, removing the prior year requirement and lifting means
foster, adopted, special needs and military families would be a good
But when graduation comes, we want to make sure that our schools work for
kids, regardless of where they want to start in life-whether they are
college or want to start a career right out of school.
Let's be clear, every Hoosier child should be encouraged to go to
college, and we
must work to make sure our kids are college ready and make college more
To that end, we are proposing to increase funding to our state-sponsored
and universities and to tie our funding and financial aid to on-time
Even as we encourage every student to go to college, we recognize not
is college bound. But they all deserve the same opportunity for success.
honest work is honorable work, our schools should work just as well for
who want to get a job as they do for our kids who want to get a college
The time has come to make career, technical and vocational education a
in every high school in Indiana.
To expand career and technical education, we need greater collaboration
agencies, and I propose we create Regional Works Councils to work with
and educators across the state to develop regional, demand-driven
curricula to bring
high-paying career options to more Hoosiers in high school.
And don't think for a minute that career and vocational education is
the future for some of our kids.
Let me introduce you to Bill Beach. Bill and his wife Juanita are with us
but we had to work hard to get them here. Turns out his New Albany-based
which specializes in injection molding and precision tool making, is
running three shifts and employs 600 Hoosiers in a 410,000-square-foot
When I visited Beach Mold and Tool last summer, Bill told me how on the
he was a teenager his Dad came to him one day and said, "Bill, your
with the book learning, so he's going to college. You're good with your
you're going to vocational school."
So Bill went to vocational school. They started their company in 1972. As
out over the hugely successful business he's running today, I turned to
said, "Bill, turns out your dad was right. You are good with your hands.
what they built!" Join me in commending Bill and Juanita Beach for being
great example of the American dream.
Career and technical education can provide our students with a pathway to
just as it did for Bill. It can launch entrepreneurs, give kids a reason
high school, and create a well-qualified workforce that will encourage
to build here and grow here.
We have to give our kids, our future, every opportunity for success. That
quality schools, choices about their education and multiple pathways to
The more our kids succeed in the classroom, the more Indiana will
I believe a society can be judged by how it deals with its most
aged, infirm, disabled and innocent human life.
That's why our budget fully funds the Medicaid forecast, meeting the
care needs of our most vulnerable citizens and families.
That's why our budget calls for increasing funding for the Department of
by $35 million so we can protect the lives of our most vulnerable
additional caseworkers, supervisors, and investments in the emergency
That's why our budget seeks resources for a comprehensive school safety
Parents have a right to expect that our children are safe at school.
All of us were heartbroken after every parent's worst nightmare unfolded
Connecticut. While others have rushed to the well-worn arguments over gun
Hoosiers know this is not about access to firearms. It is about access to
Hoosiers have responsibilities to protect our kids and Hoosiers have
will protect our kids, and we will protect our rights. Hoosiers know we
can do both.
And since an intact family is one of the surest guards against poverty,
on my first
day in office I signed an executive order requiring certain state
agencies to develop
family impact statements to ensure that new rules and regulations do not
impact married, two-parent families.
Nothing in this approach to preventing poverty diminishes in any way the
job single parents do raising their children every day in Indiana. My
a single mom and my wife was raised for much of her childhood by a single
we applaud the difficult job those parents do every day. But with
of our children living in poverty, given the undeniable relationship
poverty and unmarried childbearing, Indiana should seek ways to encourage
healthy families for our kids, our communities and our state.
Let me close tonight by reflecting on something another speaker said from
more than 30 years ago. Addressing Indiana's General Assembly, President
Reagan said, "the federal government is still operating on the outdated
assumption that the states can't manage their own affairs." He predicted
"great American experiment" would soon enter a new phase and that you,
here in this
room, would be the ones to carry this experiment forward and "offer the
solutions and most promising hopes for our nation."
As Hoosiers have shown over the past eight years, Reagan was right.
Hoosiers have found practical Indiana solutions to the challenges facing
We have one of the most innovative healthcare programs in the country. We
education reforms that are a model for the nation. And we have built our
time and under budget.
On these and other important matters, we must never stand by and let the
government dictate our aims, our hopes, and our wishes for us. As your
I will never stop standing for the rights of Indiana's people to run our
choose our healthcare and produce our energy the Indiana way.
The road ahead of us will not be easy. But we know that Hoosiers are
do hard things, to embrace change, to demand a government as good as our
to build schools of promise and policies that will ensure jobs and
for this generation and the next.
To do this, we must continue to live within our means, hold the line on
and let Hoosiers keep more of their hard-earned income. We must invest in
and roads, and seek ways to support the state's most vulnerable citizens
the institutions that nurture the character of our people.
This is Indiana's moment.
We can put Hoosiers back to work and make Indiana first-first in job
in education, and first in quality of life.
Together, we will build a more prosperous future.
Together, we will open doors of educational opportunity for all our kids.
Together, we can approach our third century with confidence,
With faith in Him who strengthened the hands of our pioneer forbearers
faith in all of you, I say Indiana's best days are yet to come!
Let's get to work!
Thank you, God bless you, and may God continue to bless our beloved
all who call her home.