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Pence gets to work after inauguration

Brandon Smith
Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence went straight to work after being sworn in Monday, signing 15 executive orders, including a measure stripping some authority away from the incoming state superintendent of public instruction.

One of Pence’s first acts in office was to rescind an executive order signed by former Governor Mitch Daniels.  The new order shifts oversight of the Education Employment Relations Board from the state superintendent to the governor, where it had historically been before Daniels changed it.  The board settles teacher contract disputes. 

Pence says the order is not a move to diminish the power of incoming Superintendent Glenda Ritz.

“I really believe that the historic framework and the accountability directly to governor is in the best interests of taxpayers and all parties concerned,” Pence said.

Ritz’s office says it’s comfortable with the change.

Pence also signed an order directing certain state agencies to create family impact statements.  Pence says the impact statements are intended to ensure regulations do not discourage the formation and well-being of intact married families.

“We will in no way diminish our commitment to come alongside parents who are raising kids in difficult circumstances,” Pence said, “but this is more about leveling the playing field and making sure the state of Indiana is not promulgating rules and regulations that in any way disadvantage intact, two-parent families.”

Pence also halted the creation of any new regulations by state agencies until his administration can assess ways to reduce regulatory burdens. Exceptions include regulations needed to create jobs and address emergency, health or safety situations.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.