Pence wasted little time getting to work. By Monday afternoon, he’d met with Republican and Democrat leaders in the General Assembly and signed 15 executive orders, including one that put a temporary halt on all new state regulations until the state Office of Management and Budget can assess the costs and benefits of current regulations.
Another executive order Pence signed Monday requires the state Family and Social Services Administration and several other agencies to develop “family impact statements” for any potential new regulations.
According to the statement released by Pence’s office, the family impact statements “are tools that agencies will use to ensure that new regulations do not discourage the formation and well-being of intact married families...”
Other executive orders signed by Pence includes one that sets a goal of procuring 3 percent of state contracts from veteran-owned businesses; another that requires every state agency to designate its own ethics officer; and one that establishes a separate Office of Energy Development.
Pence also rescinded a previous executive order, moving the reporting structure for the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board out of the hands of the Superintendent of Public Instruction - a position currently held by Democrat Glenda Ritz. The executive order moves the board's oversight back to the governor.
In past speeches on the campaign trail, Pence has said repeatedly that jobs, the economy and education were his top priorities for the state, and not the social issues that he championed as a social conservative while in Congress, which included defunding Planned Parenthood.
A small group of protesters gathered near the Statehouse held signs that said “Gov. Pence: We’re watching you.”
“We’re just going to be paying attention to his policies, specifically around women’s, immigrants’ and workers’ rights,” said Erin Polley, with the pro-labor Central Indiana Jobs with Justice organization. “We feel like they’re going to be under attack the next four years.”