INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence gave a
hint Wednesday at what social issues he would push for as governor, while
Democrat John Gregg called for a new tax credit he claims would help
companies return jobs from overseas.
The Pence campaign issued a “roadmap” Wednesday that included most of the
campaign’s previous policy announcements and added a few new ones. The
campaign said it would improve law enforcement training and help foster
families and adopted children get better educations.
The plan also stated that Pence would “promote marriage by requiring a
family impact statement for state regulations.” Pence spokeswoman Christy
Denault said the campaign would explain what that meant in the coming weeks
and declined to answer questions about the new proposals.
Family impact statements have a long history on the national stage,
stretching from the culture wars of the ‘90s back to a Senate investigation
on the status of the American family led by then-Sen. Walter Mondale in
1973. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan ordered that the executive branch
look at whether new rules and regulations “strengthen or erode the family
and, particularly, the marital commitment.”
Kristi Hamrick, spokeswoman for the Washington-based conservative group
American Values, said the goal of the statements was to help lawmakers and
regulators see how federal laws and regulations unintentionally rip families
apart. Welfare programs and tax laws, for example, discouraged low-income
mothers from getting married by giving more money to single mothers, she
"It’s in the federal government’s interest if we live in the context of
strong families,” she said. Hamrick was unsure exactly how family statements
would apply at the state level, but guessed that education would be an
obvious choice for assessment.
It would be impossible, however, for government to properly determine
personal concepts such as an impact on a marriage, said former Indiana
Democratic Party Chairwoman Ann DeLaney. She said that the impact statements
of the ‘90s supported only one narrow definition of family.
It’s unnecessary for state leaders to assess family situations, she said.
“Most of us who have been in a traditional marriage a lot longer than Mike
Pence do not feel like we are under attack,” DeLaney said.
The Democratic ticket, Gregg and running mate Vi Simpson, meanwhile spent
the morning in Indianapolis talking about job tax credits and creating
smaller state contracts they said are needed to help Indiana companies
compete for state work against out-of-state contractors.
Gregg proposed covering the employment taxes for each job a company brings
back from overseas over the next three years. He also proposed helping
Indiana companies transition to supplying renewable energy ventures.
Simpson said the biggest complaint the two have heard from Indiana companies
is that they can’t compete for large contracts, consisting of smaller
contracts bundled together by the state. The work often goes to larger
companies from states like Ohio and Illinois, she said.
“If we are serious about job creation — and we are — we need to do
everything we can to give Hoosier manufacturers and small businesses a leg
up, and then get out of their way,” Gregg said in a statement.