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In an wide ranging Afternoons with Amos interview, Gov. Mike Pence, fresh from his third State of the State Speech talked about a number of topics in the speech and some others as well. The Governor reinforced his emphasis on Education in this year’s legislative session. Pence talked up his plans to increase by $1,500 to basic amount for students in Indiana charter schools. He also talked about his adding $200 million over the two year budget to K-12 education. In response to a question about the overall $15.8 Billion in spending over two years in education, the Governor was asked whether, in efforts to increase funding for fast growing schools, funding for rural and urban schools would be cut. The Governor denied that was his intention, said he would not let that happen. In his speech, the Governor didn’t mention crime, but in the Afternoons with Amos interview, Pence was asked about his plans to increase funding to the Department of Correction by nearly $100 million over the next two years, including money for new jail cells. While saluting the hard the work of the staff of the Department of Child Services (DCS) the Governor didn’t explicitly agree with calls by Democrats and other lawmakers that the number of DCS caseworkers needs to be dramatically increased. In his speech Gov. Pence talked about the progress Indiana has made, but he acknowledged that some Hoosiers still are out of work and incomes are stagnant. Pence cited his efforts at increasing funding for vocation and career ready education as a way to help those Hoosiers. Asked about the status of negotiations with the Federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for approval of his Healthy Indiana Plan, the Governor said both sides continue to talk and he still feels optimistic that the Feds will accept his plan for Medicaid expansion. In response to a skeptical Amos question about Pence’s proposal for Indiana to adopt a Balance Budget Amendment, the major surprise in his speech, Pence defended his proposal, despite strong hesitancy from lawmakers, particularly Republicans. Finally, two political questions were asked of the Governor in the Afternoons with Amos interview. Gov. Pence was asked his reaction to the decision yesterday by new Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to put a hold on the proposed Illiana Expressway in Northwest Indiana. Pence said the project means needed jobs and that he is still in favor of moving forward. Asked about the lack of Indy Republicans finding a candidate to run for Mayor this year, Pence thought the local GOP had a good bullpen and that they would be able to find a suitable candidate to follow Mayor Greg Ballard. Finally the Governor extolled the state’s new Labor of Love Initiative to fight Indiana’s rising Infant Mortality rate and his talked about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and reminisced about his visit several years ago to Selma at the invitation of Rep. John Lewis. Click the Media Player to hear the Afternoons with Amos Interview with Gov. Mike Pence. Runs 20 Minutes. ©2015 WTLC/Radio One. Link To Gov. Pence Afternoons with Amos Interview 011415