INDIANAPOLIS | Seeking to make Indiana more business- and family-friendly, Gov. Mike Pence signed executive orders Monday blocking the creation of new state regulations on businesses and requiring certain agency rules implementing state law include a "family impact statement."
The new Republican governor said his moratorium on business regulations will "cut red tape" and improve the state's business climate.
"This executive order will temporarily stop new regulations until our Office of Management and Budget can assess the costs and benefits of current regulations and recommend ways to reduce regulatory burdens," Pence said.
A separate Pence order requires six state agencies -- the Family and Social Services Administration, Criminal Justice Institute and the departments of workforce development, child services, health and correction -- assess the impact of their rules on married families.
"These (family impact statements) are a tool that agencies will use to ensure that new regulations do not discourage the formation and well-being of intact married families," Pence said.
He said the new requirement is not intended to dismiss single parents or other types of families but to emphasize "the importance that intact two-parent families have, particularly on the welfare of children."
The 13 other executive orders signed Monday by Pence included designating an ethics officer in each state agency, developing performance measures to gauge the effectiveness of state spending and setting a goal of purchasing at least 3 percent of state goods from veteran-owned companies.
Pence also created the Office of Energy Development, reclaimed oversight of the Education Employment Relations Board from the superintendent of public instruction and reissued eight of Gov. Mitch Daniels' executive orders, including one maintaining the state board overseeing administration of the Indiana Toll Road lease.
The new governor also met with the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate for nearly an hour Monday afternoon.
Afterward, state Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, the House Democratic leader, said Pence set the right tone for bipartisan cooperation.
"We all have important jobs for Indiana. Sometimes those jobs are to disagree and to discuss our differences," Pelath said. "But we also have important roles (and need) to have the types of relationships where we can work together when we do agree that things are for the good of the people."