INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has thrown his support behind selected pieces of legislation and, in a couple of cases, they are bills that would create new regulations. That has critics posing questions because the governor took office promising to reduce state regulations. Democrats are accusing him of hypocrisy.
On the day in January when he took the oath of office, Pence signed a series of executive orders for the benefit of the media including one calling for the moratorium on state regulations.
"This executive order will temporarily stop the creation of new regulations," he said as he signed it.
Fast forward to Thursday when Pence was asked his opinion on a new abortion bill. It would create new regulations for use of the abortion pill — regulations that will likely close a Lafayette Planned Parenthood clinic.
"From what I know about it," said Pence, "I look forward to signing it."
Pence was also asked about the bill to protect hunting preserves and said he's open to it.
"I also think," he said, "that it's important that we make it clear what the standards of those facilities are with regard to the size and dimensions and the health of animals."
That's a call for new regulations.
"I think it's hypocritical," says state Rep. Terri Austin, a Democrat who charges that the governor says one thing and does another. "I know that I'm not the only legislator who feels this way. … Many of us think that that moratorium hasn't been evident."
Pence doesn't see a problem.
"But that executive order obviously allowed for a number of exceptions," he said, "and we'll work together with members of the General Assembly on how that comes together in policies and practices."
In fairness to the governor, when he signed his executive order he said that there would be exclusions. The moratorium is meant to last until a study of state regulations is completed. It is still underway.
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