GREENSBURG – On the eve of the first anniversary of his election as Indiana’s 50th governor, Mike Pence returned to the Tree City Monday and appeared just as enthusiastic about the state’s future as he was upon being voted into the position a year ago.
Pence called his gubernatorial duties “the highest honor of my life” during a keynote address at a Greensburg-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce luncheon Monday afternoon at the Decatur County Community Schools building.
The governor laid out his “four pillars” for success for the state, highlighting the accomplishments of the last year and providing a roadmap for Indiana’s future. That map, Pence said, will be one in which all roads in the country lead to Indiana.
Gov. Pence told his audience the nation is facing “very challenging economic times,” but in spite of that – and the state’s 8 percent unemployment rate – Indiana finds itself in a position in which other states might wish to be.
“In a very real sense, we’re the fiscal envy of the country,” Pence said.
That sentiment led Pence to the presentation of his first strategy: continued fiscal stability.
Pence said he took office with the plan of presenting “an honestly balanced budget,” one that would require the state to live within its means. Pence also said he would “hold the line” on spending saying “Fiscal integrity is the foundation of our prosperity.”
The governor backed up those claims with the news that the state is expected to have a $100 million dollar surplus over the next two years and presently has $2 billion “in the bank.”
Pence expressed his gratitude to State Representatives Randy Frye and Cindy Ziemke, both of whom were in attendance Monday, for their help in passing the state’s budget. Pence called Frye and Ziemke “outstanding leaders in the general assembly.”