Indiana Governor Mike Pence gave his second State of the State address before state legislatures on Tuesday, January 14, 2014. In his address, Pence focused on issues facing Hoosiers in 2014: job creation, the debate over same-sex marriage, and tax cuts, according to WRTV-Channel 13 news.
Pence focused on the success Indiana has had in job creation while acknowledging the struggle so many Hoosiers face in obtaining quality employment.
"In November, one out of every eight jobs created in this country was created right here in Indiana," the governor said.
Pence focused on the impending vote before the house judiciary committee on a proposed amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage.
"I believe in traditional marriage and I have long held the view that the people rather than unelected judges should decide matters of such great consequence to the society," Pence said.
Pence called upon lawmakers to make a decision on the definition of marriage when ruling upon this amendment. However, Democratic lawmakers criticized the statements as further feeding the flame already surrounding the issue at the statehouse.
"Instead of using the bully pulpit to set this issue aside to deal with real problems, he took the opportunity to lead us further into that particular conflagration," House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) told WRTV-Channel 13.
Pence also pushed for the creation of a voluntary school voucher pre-K program in order to help Indiana’s low-income children and bragged about the improving test scores of Indiana students.
He ended the speech with discussing promised tax cuts, specifically eliminating the business personal property tax cut.
"Taxing equipment and technology in a state that leads the nation in making and creating things just doesn't make sense," Pence said.
Democrats disagree adamantly with this tax cut arguing that the business personal property tax is a jobless tax cut. This issue will not be decided until March 2014, however.
"If you phase it out, it is a one-billion dollar hit to the state of Indiana. The real question becomes, 'How do you do that?'," said State Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson).