Indiana News

Pence Holds First Cabinet Meeting


Gov. Pence (right) presides over his first Cabinet meeting. Seated (l to r): ISP Supt. Doug Carter, budget director Chris Atkins, personnel director Anita Samuel, Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann. ( photo: Eric Berman)

Governor Mike Pence has held his first meeting with his Cabinet, and given administration officials an assignment for the first month of the administration.

Pence presented his agency heads with copies of the Jim Collins business bestseller "Good to Great," a catchphrase he appropriated for the campaign trail. He's instructed them to turn that motto into action, delivering a plan by this time next month for taking their agencies to the next level.

Pence still has to fill two key positions, at the Department of Child Services (DCS) and the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). FSSA's Michael Gargano and DCS director John Ryan, both appointed by former governor Mitch Daniels, remain in charge of those agencies for the time being.

Pence has already reappointed 11 Daniels agency heads and named nine leaders of his own.

FSSA will be at the center of a looming debate over whether to expand Medicaid as the federal health care law recommends. Pence says he'll listen to legislative ideas, but says whatever the coverage level is must be fully funded. He says, "Any expansion of Medicaid would have to be fiscally responsible, and it would also have to permit Indiana to expand it in a way that reflected recent innovation in health care, namely, our Healthy Indiana Plan."

The budget Pence unveiled Tuesday dips into the tobacco lawsuit settlement to fund and ends a state subsidy for horse racing development to meet projected Medicaid needs.


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