Look, ma! I’m on It’s All Politics on NPR.org:
When Republican Mike Pence replaced Mitch Daniels as governor of Indiana this month, he wasted no time setting out to establish his conservative fiscal bona fides.
Pence, who made a name for himself in the U.S. House as a social conservative, rolled out a proposal to cut Indiana’s state income tax rate by 10 percent over the next two years. He joined Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Nebraska’s Dave Heineman and other Republican governors in pushing for state income tax cuts.
In theory, it should be an easy sell for Pence. Indiana has a projected budget surplus of $518 million next year. And like 24 other Republican governors this year, Pence enjoys Republican majorities in the Legislature to work with. In fact, Pence enjoys Republican supermajorities in each chamber.
But it may be harder than Pence expected. Prominent Republican lawmakers in Indiana are lukewarm at best on the new governor’s tax cut plan, preferring to replenish funding to programs the recession forced them to cut and shore up Indiana’s budget for the long haul.
“I was here in 1998 when we had a $2 billion surplus,” Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma told reporters last week. “I was here and became speaker in 2004 when we were $1.4 billion in the red. This isn’t a two-year budget cycle concern. This is a long-term sustainability issue for the state of Indiana.”
This post is a national version of a post I did for StateImpact Indiana, breaking down where Bosma & Pence stand on the tax cut question. Big ups to NPR’s Chris Swope in editing and feeding this up the ladder.