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Pence for president? Governor speaks about speculation, legislative session

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In a one-on-one interview with Gov. Mike Pence, the state’s chief executive discusses a wide range of issues dealing with this year’s legislative session. Gov. Pence was also asked about the growing speculation that he might one day be considered a potential candidate for president.

In the video above, Gov. Pence discusses the pre-K pilot program that will provide vouchers for early childhood education. It was a key piece of the governor’s legislative agenda for 2014, and an issue that House lawmakers have also tried to move forward on in recent years.

But the pilot program was nearly derailed in the Senate, which decided to form a study committee to look into the issue instead, before an agreement was finally reached to form both a study committee and launch a pilot program this year.

The compromise measure allows for a pilot program, using up to $10 million in existing state funds that were left unspent. It also mandates that the state conduct a study tracking students to determine their progress in kindergarten and later grades. Gov. Pence signed the measure into law on Thursday.

Facing a deadline at the end of the day Thursday, the governor decided not to take action on a bill that brings the Energizing Indiana program to an end, thus allowing the bill into law without his signature. Lawmakers passed the bill this year, citing concerns about the cost and benefit of the program, which was created by former Gov. Mitch Daniels. Pence issued the following statement after allowing the bill into law without his signature: “As such, I was disappointed that the General Assembly chose to eliminate the energy efficiency program established by the previous administration without offering a viable alternative. For that reason, I have declined to sign this bill and acknowledge that this bill will become law without my signature.“I could not sign this bill because it does away with a worthwhile energy efficiency program. I could not veto this bill because doing so would increase the cost of utilities for Hoosier ratepayers and make Indiana less competitive by denying relief to large electricity consumers, including our state’s manufacturing base.“To ensure that Indiana’s energy policy continues to include sound efficiency programs that lower electricity usage and support economic growth, I am calling on the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to immediately begin to develop recommendations for a new energy efficiency program that would include an opt-out for large electricity consumers.“In addition, I have informed leaders of the General Assembly of my actions and my intention to bring energy efficiency legislation during the 2015 legislative session. I look forward to working with legislators to develop a new energy efficiency program for our state that will encourage conservation and promote a strong Indiana economy.”

In the video below, the governor discusses mass transit, Common Core, and recent reports that Pence is being encouraged to run for President in 2016.