Grading the Governor: Legislators Weigh In On Pence Job Performance

By Jeff Neumeyer

March 12, 2013 Updated Mar 12, 2013 at 6:08 PM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) --- At the midway point of the Indiana legislative session, lawmakers are getting a report card, and so is new Republican Governor Mike Pence.

Governor Pence doesn't occupy a seat in either the House or the Senate, but his presence still looms large over the legislature.

Pence has steadfastly crusaded to give Hoosiers a 10 percent cut in their state income taxes, hoping to make good on a campaign promise.

But the idea has gotten a cool reception from the Indiana House Speaker, Brian Bosma, who favors an end to the state's death tax instead.

" It's the next thing that needs to go. If we cut the income tax here today, we aren't going to be able to move up that phase out of that tax at all, so, we're expressing caution at this point," Bosma said.

Critics say Pence has not provided enough leadership or direction on any other issues, differing from his predecessor Mitch Daniels.

The House Democratic leader is giving Pence a pass on that, to a point.

"When there's not a clear direction from the second floor of the Statehouse, what we usually see is the legislature tends to drift into trivialities," said Scott Pelath of Michigan City.

There's speculation that Pence might be keeping a low profile so as not to create a long record, in case he decides to run for president in 2016.

"Certainly, his name has been floated around before, coming up for 2016, but certainly, that's up to him. I've not talked to him about it," said Democratic State Representative Phil Giaquinta of Fort Wayne.

Adams County Representative Matt Lehman has heard the grumblings, but still gives Pence an “A” for his first 2 months on the job.

The good thing for Pence, he won't have to worry about a grade from voters for nearly 4 more years.

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