IN Democrats see trouble between GOP House, Pence

Feb 22, 2013

The House Minority Leader says Thursday’s decision by GOP leaders to block a vote on Governor Mike Pence’s proposed tax cut is a sign of trouble between the governor and his party. 

House Minority Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) says he doesn’t understand what message House Republicans are trying to send by failing to include Governor Mike Pence’s proposed 10% income tax cut in their budget, and then blocking a House floor vote on it. He calls the tax cut Pence’s marquee pledge to Hoosiers and says it’s unusual for Republicans to essentially dismiss it.

“The super-majorities and the governor can still get it right, there's still time.  But they're fighting with each other and that's a concern because the people of Indiana need a clear direction; they need a clear choice.”

Republicans have repeatedly said they will consider the tax cut in April, near the end of the budget-making process – an explanation Pelath calls ridiculous.  But Ways and Means chair Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) says waiting until April allows lawmakers to gather more information.

“We’re going to have four…or three months, I guess – January, February and March – of revenue numbers for the state.  We’re also going to have the impact of sequestration and then we’re going to have the updated revenue forecast.”

Pelath says as many as half his members would have voted for the governor’s tax cut.  He says most will not cast yea votes for the budget bill when the House takes it up Monday.