by Ken Davidson
Governor Pence has authorized one time, end of year bonuses to be paid to State employees. The bonuses of up to $1,000 will be based on performance reviews to be completed in January. The Governor states that the bonuses are in lieu of pay raises and will not affect the budget. We would love to hear your opinions, is this sound fiscal policy? Sound off in the comments section.
Here is the Governor’s letter to State of Indiana employees:
Fellow State Employees,
As 2013 draws to a close, I am writing to express my sincere appreciation for your service to the people of Indiana over the past year.
Through the efforts of dedicated State Employees like you, Hoosiers continue to receive quality service and support when interacting with our state government. Indiana is strong and growing stronger due, in part, to the commitment you exhibit every day in service to the public.
Because of your efficiency and commitment to fiscal discipline, Indiana leads the way with a balanced budget, AAA credit rating and a reputation for sound fiscal management.
While our present circumstances do not permit us to increase base pay, because your service to Indiana has been exemplary, I have authorized a bonus that you will receive once performance evaluations are completed in January.
Employees who meet expectations will receive a $500 bonus, those who exceed expectations will receive $750, and those rated outstanding will receive $1,000.
I hope this news will be an encouragement to you for a job well done in 2013.
Thank you for your service to the good people of Indiana. It is the greatest privilege of my life to serve alongside men and women like you.
God bless you and your family with a memorable holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.
Governor Mike Pence
INDIANAPOLIS—Governor Mike Pence today announced Representative Suzanne Crouch as Auditor of State for Indiana. She will complete the term held by Dwayne Sawyer which runs through 2014.
“Suzanne Crouch has a lifetime of experience and a heart for public service,” said Governor Pence. “Suzanne’s fiscal leadership in the Indiana General Assembly, her distinguished public career in local government, and financial background will be valuable assets to our state.”
Crouch served two terms as the Auditor of Vanderburgh County, and was president of the Vanderburgh County Board of Commissioners. She was elected to the Indiana General Assembly in 2005 and serves as Vice Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
The Auditor of the State has four primary duties: accounting for all of the state’s funds; overseeing and disbursing county, city, town and school tax distributions; paying the state’s bills; and paying the state’s employees.
Crouch received her degree from Purdue University. She is married to Larry Downs, and they have one daughter.
Erin Sheridan, the Chief of Staff for the Office of the Auditor, is serving as Auditor on an interim basis until January 2, 2014.
by Ken Davidson
In perhaps one of the most contentious public meetings of the year, a room full of people who face losing their farms and family homes squared off with union members looking for temporary jobs. Union members cheered as NIRPC voted to approve the Illiana Toll Road while farmers cried. Perhaps the best comment was from a Lowell resident who said “move the road closer to Cedar Lake and Crown Point since they want it so bad.” That comment clearly points out the irony of communities who have nothing to lose weighing in on the fate of people’s homes in rural south county Indiana.
Christine Cid stood up to the machine once again and voted against the Illiana. You will recall that Cid was the lone democrat on the County Council standing against the income tax. This time Cid was joined by County Chair Thomas McDermott. McDermott, acting as Mayor of Hammond, clearly stated that communities along the 80/94 corridor may be harmed by the southern corridor. Thus, the question as to why Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson decided to support the controversial plan. Freeman-Wilson would appear to have the most to lose with the construction of the tollway as she has pinned Gary’s revitalization hopes to the plan to be a transportation hub. The Illiana Toll Road is expected to be a catalyst for the proposed Peotone Airport as well as a truck route to avoid congestion. The primary economic growth Gary has seen in recent years has been along the 80/94 corridor. In the event the Illiana is successful in removing even 20% of the truck traffic from the area, that could be a large loss in jobs and tax revenue for Gary.
The real story here is Governor Mike Pence. Pence chimed in today praising the Board for passing the plan. Pence would do well to remember his base if he plans to run for re-election. It seems that he was outmaneuvered politically during this entire process. Maybe we will see a Governor McDermott after all.
Indianapolis, IN – Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz yesterday agreed to have the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) facilitate a conversation among the members of the Indiana State Board of Education (SBOE) regarding roles, responsibilities, and the operations of the Board. Under the leadership of Superintendent Ritz, Indiana re-joined NASBE earlier this year. Governor Pence and Superintendent Ritz also discussed the Center for Education and Career Innovation (CECI).
“I am grateful to the Superintendent for her willingness to work with my administration to address the challenges and opportunities for Hoosier students, teachers and schools. I also appreciate the Superintendent’s willingness to work with members of the Indiana State Board of Education and NASBE to resolve differences that have arisen on the board,” said Governor Pence.
“Since the last meeting of the State Board of Education, I have said that the Governor and I needed to work together directly to address recent issues that have arisen,” said Superintendent Ritz. “Yesterday’s meeting was a first step towards that goal. I believe the Governor now has a clearer understanding of my concerns regarding the CECI, but much work remains to be done.”
In a prepared statement, Governor Pence announced the resignation of State Auditor Dwayne Sawyer. Sawyer was appointed to the position just four months ago. At the time, Pence cited Sawyer’s expertise in computerizing public records. Sawyer cited personal reasons for his resignation. No further details are available at this time. The full text of the Governor’s statement follows:
Indianapolis, IN–Governor Mike Pence announced that he accepted Dwayne Sawyer’s resignation as Auditor of State, and offered the following statement:
“I have accepted Dwayne Sawyer’s resignation as Auditor of State effective December 15, 2013. His reason for resigning had to do with personal and family circumstances, and I respect his decision to step aside. Hoosiers can be assured that Mr. Sawyer’s resignation had nothing to do with his fiduciary responsibilities for the state or his execution of his duties as Auditor. This office will always be grateful for Mr. Sawyer’s service and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Dwayne Sawyer stated in his letter of resignation, “Due to family and personal concerns, I have come to the conclusion that it will be in the best interests of my family and the people of Indiana whom I have been honored to serve that I resign from the office of Indiana auditor of state.”
Mr. Sawyer’s letter of resignation can be found attached.