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Pence's first act: Signs executive orders

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Following his inauguration this morning, Gov. Mike Pence immediately started his plans for job creation and economic growth.

The governor signed 15 executive orders, including six new orders, according to a press release. The new orders implement enhanced ethics practices for state government, promote government efficiency and transparency and impose a moratorium on new regulations, the release said. They also require certain state agencies to develop family impact statements, set a goal of procuring 3 percent of state contracts from veteran-owned businesses and establish a separate Office of Energy Development, the release added.

Pence rescinded one executive order, moving the reporting structure for the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board back to the Governor. He also signed an additional eight orders continuing various boards and offices and continuing Western Governors University Indiana.

The governor then held a bipartisan meeting with the leadership of both the House and Senate, citing his desire to work together for the good of all Hoosiers.

"As a former legislator, I have enormous respect for the legislature and the job they do," said Pence. "It was very important to me to meet with their leadership on our first day in office to talk about what Indiana needs right now and how we get the job done."

Pence will conclude his first day in office with a meeting with his economic development team, re-emphasizing his focus on getting Hoosiers back to work and bringing new job opportunities to the state.

The new executive orders, according to the press release, are:

Directive to name an agency ethics officer and to hold an annual legal and ethics conference

To promote transparency and integrity, this Executive Order mandates good, sound ethical practices which are currently in practice in State government. This includes requiring every state agency to name an ethics officer and requiring the Inspector General's office to hold a legal and ethics conference every year.

Promoting government efficiency, transparency, and superior performance through Program Assessment Comprehensive Evaluation (PACE)

This executive order ensures that taxpayer dollars are being spent efficiently and that Hoosiers can more easily see how their tax dollars are being spent. The order calls for a review of programs (PACE) that will allow the Pence Administration to review all agency performance metrics and requires OMB to develop a plan for performance-based budgeting. The review will help create user-friendly measures of performance that will be reported on the Indiana Transparency Portal. It also requires that the State develop a plan for making all state contracts electronically searchable on the portal.

Promoting job creation, economic development, and freedom by ordering a moratorium on regulations

In an effort to cut red tape, this Executive Order temporarily stops the creation of new regulations until the Office of Management and Budget can assess the costs and benefits of current regulations and recommend ways to reduce regulatory burdens. Exclusions are made for regulations needed to create jobs, reduce state spending, repeal existing rules, or address cases of emergency, health or safety.

Creation of family impact statements in certain Indiana state departments and agencies

Recognizing the economic advantages that intact married families offer children, this executive rrder requires the following agencies to assess the impact any new regulation will have on families by developing a Family Impact Statement:

  •     Family and Social Services Administration
  •     Department of Workforce Development
  •     Department of Child Services
  •     State Department of Health
  •     Department of Correction, and
  •     Criminal Justice Institute, including its Victim Services Division 

The Family Impact Statements are a tool agencies will use to ensure that new regulations do not discourage the formation and well-being of intact married families, ensuring that all families have a level playing field.

Establishment of the "veteran business enterprise preference" presumption

This executive order establishes a goal of procuring three percent of state contracts from veteran-owned businesses, similar to, but not competing with the goals for, women-owned and minority-owned businesses. It recognizes the higher-than-average unemployment among veterans and seeks to increase job opportunities and encourage entrepreneurship among veterans.

Creation of the Indiana Office of Energy Development

Acknowledging the importance of low-cost energy to Indiana's economy, this Executive Order separates the Office of Energy and Defense Development (OEDD) into the Office of Energy Development (OED) and the Office of Defense Development (ODD). It tasks OED with developing and implementing a comprehensive energy plan for the state. It calls for ODD to focus on the growth of the state's defense assets and industries.

Rescinding Executive Order 11-07:

This executive order requires the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board to return to its historical practice of reporting to the Governor.

Continuing Executive Orders:

  • Continuation of the Governor's Emergency Advisory Group
  • Continuation of the Indiana Toll Road Oversight Board
  • Continuation of the Indiana State Trauma Care Committee
  • Continuation of the Office Of Public Finance
  • Continuation of the Indiana State Historical Records Advisory Board
  • Continuing WGU Indiana in partnership with Western Governors University to expand higher education opportunities for Hoosiers through on-line competency-based education.
  • Continuation of the Office of Disaster Recovery
  • Continuing the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and the Indiana Commission on Community Service and Volunteerism

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