It was just the second outdoor inauguration of an Indiana Governor in the state’s history. It was cold, but the wind was calm, and the sun was shining and when it was over there were leftover hand warmers and hot drinks even though it was a standing room only crowd.
The ceremony lasted less than 45 minutes but that was plenty of time for Mike Pence to send the message that he believes Indiana is poised for greatness. He took time to point out that, in his view, outgoing governor Mitch Daniels put it there. “I thank you and Cheri for your service,” said Pence addressing Daniels in his speech, “for leaving our state the fiscal and administrative envy of a nation.”
And while his speech was short on the specifics on how he hopes to create new jobs and better schools, his top priorities, he laid out some broad guidelines. “To do this,” he said, “we must continue to live within our means, hold the line on spending, and let Hoosiers keep more of their hard-earned income.” That’s a reference to his planned 10% cut in the state income tax.
The ceremony included the oath given to re-elected Attorney General Greg Zoeller and the swearing-in of new Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann. And a couple of hours later Ellspermann was at Governor’s Pence’s side as he signed a series of executive orders, including one that calls for a moratorium on new regulations.
Pence also met with legislative leaders from both parties, he said, just to listen. But tomorrow they get the specifics on how he hopes to bring about a tax cut. “Tomorrow we’ll be submitting our budget to the budget committee,” said Pence, “and we’ll look forward to a good discussion going forward.”
Two former governors, Daniels and Democrat Evan Bayh, were at the ceremony. Two others, Joe Kernan and Ed Whitcomb, originally scheduled to attend, didn’t make it. Pence said he will let others decide if the outdoor ceremony was a good idea but says he’s glad they had Monday weather instead of Sunday weather.
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