Politics

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Flip-Flops On Needle Exchange Program

| by Michael Allen

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) opposes needle-exchange programs, but issued an executive order yesterday that will allow a short-term needle- exchange program in Scott County, Indiana.

There have been 79 new cases of HIV cases since December 2014, which have all been linked to Scott County and drug use with needles.

Gov. Pence said that he was advised by the Centers for Disease Control that the temporary needle-exchange program would be would be "medically appropriate," notes the Associated Press.

Gov. Pence overrode state law with his 30-day executive order, a tactic that he has criticized President Obama for using on immigration.

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“The executive action that the president took late last year was clearly an unconstitutional end run around the lawmaking authority of the Congress of the United States,” Gov. Pence said last month, noted Politico.com.

Gov. Pence signed a "religious freedom" bill this week that has been widely reported to allow the discrimination of gay people per religious beliefs.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Gov. Pence defended Senate Bill 101, "This bill is not about discrimination and if I thought it legalized discrimination I would have vetoed it."

However, Indiana state Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D) said in a statement:

Although not unexpected, it is still extremely disappointing that Governor Pence endorses this out-of-touch, discriminatory legislation. Not only is this law unnecessary, it unfortunately has already portrayed our state as intolerant, unfriendly, and backwards; things which I believe most Hoosiers reject.

Sources: Politico.com, Associated Press, Indianapolis Star
Image Credit: United States Government