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April 30, 2013

Pence hints at possible bill vetoes

He says he’s pleased, however, with tax cuts

INDIANAPOLIS —

Less than two days after the Republican-controlled General Assembly wrapped up its 2013 session, Republican Gov. Mike Pence signaled he may veto some legislation coming his way.

During a press conference Monday in which he praised lawmakers for their hard work, Pence told reporters, “There are a number of bills we have concerns about,” but declined to elaborate.

Pence’s comment — in response to a question from a reporter about whether the first-term governor would exercise his veto power — came as news to Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma of Indianapolis, who held a subsequent press conference of his own. 

“I haven’t heard that from the governor, that any particular bill would or wouldn’t be vetoed,” Bosma said. “I did hear he expressed reservation about quite a few bills this morning, but he hasn’t personally told me of any concern he had one way or another.” 

Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long of Fort Wayne had a similar response. Long’s press secretary, Lindsay Jancek, said Long “had not heard that there were any concerns until today.” 

Long has since instructed his staff to contact the governor’s office to request a list of bills that concern Pence.

During his press conference, Pence hinted that one of the bills that may come under his scrutiny is the controversial Marion County government reorganization bill that eliminates four at-large council seats and gives the mayor — currently a Republican — more fiscal controls. He wouldn’t name any specific legislation he’s considering vetoing, but also said there was a long list of bills headed his way, many of which he was not familiar with yet.

 “We will carefully examine them and do what we think is right,” Pence said.

His window of time is short. The General Assembly passed almost 300 pieces of legislation this session, and as of early Monday, the governor had signed off on 93 of them. Once a bill is presented to the governor by legislative leaders — who must first sign off on it — he has seven days to sign it, veto it or let it become law without his signature.

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