Mike Pence's legislative agenda would decrease ISTEP impact, ignore LGBT rights


By: Brian Slodysko/Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence is broadening his call for lawmakers to pass legislation decreasing Indiana’s reliance on 2015 ISTEP standardized test scores when evaluating teachers and schools.

But the Republican made no mention of the hot-button issue of adding LGBT civil rights protections into state law when he released his agenda for the coming legislative session on Monday

Instead Pence is asking lawmakers to boost short-term roads funding, give extra money to his Regional Cities initiative and increase sentences for convicted drug dealers. He also wants teachers and schools to not be penalized for tough new ISTEP accountability standards.

The Indiana Democratic Party accused Pence of choosing to “ignore” the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights, which they say is a priority for the state’s business establishment.