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April 30, 2013

Pence hints at possible bill vetoes

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

(Continued)

INDIANAPOLIS —

Bosma said it’s the governor’s prerogative to kill a bill.

“He and his team will have to dig in and find out the reasons for the legislation and the result and see if he agrees,” Bosma said. “That’s one of the significant powers of the governor of the state.”

Pence used part of his press conference Monday to praise the work of legislators who ended the 2013 session early Saturday morning after passing a $30 billion budget bill. The final two-year spending plan contains the beginning of 5 percent cut in the state’s income tax rate. It’s less than the 10 percent cut that Pence had originally demanded.

Pence said he was pleased with the final budget bill that phases in the income tax cut over four years, eliminates the state’s inheritance tax retroactively to Jan. 1, plus reduces the tax on financial institutions. He repeatedly called it “the right tax relief at the right time,” and said the combination of tax cuts is the largest in Indiana history.

But his comments about “concerns” over other legislation came as a surprise in part because he’d weighed in on other major bills during the last half of the four-month session.

Pence made it known, for example, that he wanted tougher penalties for marijuana crimes than what were in a criminal sentencing bill. He opposed a provision in the original gaming bill that let the state’s horse-track casinos switch from electronic table games to live dealers.

Both bills were changed to accommodate Pence by legislators who feared the bills would be vetoed otherwise.

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