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Pence not ‘legislator in chief’

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence invited reporters to his office Wednesday to define his leadership style and clarify his legislative agenda.

The move came after House Democrat Leader Scott Pelath last week criticized him for not being out front on issues, and general confusion inside the Statehouse on what bills the governor’s office was pushing.

Pence updated his “Roadmap for Indiana” ON Wednesday, including listing bills that contain key priorities. This includes a bill to expand vouchers, legislation to establish regional works councils, a bill to address dropout prevention and a measure to increase college affordability.

His biggest priority – cutting the state income tax – is in budget negotiations.

“I am not legislator in chief,” Pence said. “My view of executive leadership is to cast a vision, articulate goals and prioritize policies to advance the goals.”

He said he will focus on jobs and a few other items.

“There are a broad range of legislative initiatives we won’t have much to say about unless they get to that desk,” Pence said, pointing to his Statehouse desk.

For instance, he has no position on a bill moving to aid the gambling industry or an effort to repeal Indiana’s involvement with Common Core standards.

Pence might, though, have the ultimate say when he must decide whether to accept or veto laws.