In other matters, Culver said Indiana House members approved a revision of the state criminal code by a vote of 80-13. He indicated that support wouldn’t have happened a few years ago — lawmakers would have feared being perceived as soft on crime.
Culver said that under the proposed change people convicted of crimes — including murder, rape and child molesting — wouldn’t be able to earn 50 percent credit time any more, but only 25 percent.
“They have to stay in jail longer for violent crimes,” he said.
The measure would also give county judges more leeway on suspending prison sentences and instead sending low-level offenders to local programs.
Last month Indiana House members approved a budget that didn’t include Gov. Mike Pence’s proposed 10 percent cut to the personal income tax. Culver and Yoder were quizzed Saturday for their opinions on Pence’s plan.
Yoder said he is not opposed to the tax break, but only if the state’s financial forecast shows that it’s affordable. If that forecast, due in April, comes back not as optimistic as lawmakers would like to see, Yoder said, “then we’re going to have to make some tough decisions on where we spend the extra revenues that we have.”
Culver said he supported Pence’s proposal.
“I’m always for smaller government,” he said. “I think people and organizations learn to live within their means, so I’d be for the tax cut.”
The state Senate has approved tighter restrictions on clinics that offer the RU-486 “abortion pill.” Clinicians would be required to do ultrasounds on women seeking the drugs. Doctors offices would be exempt from the proposed restrictions.
Abortion-rights supporters say the measure would force women to be subjected to an invasive transvaginal procedure. This is because the pill is given early in the pregnancy, when the embryo or fetus is too small to be detected by an abdominal ultrasound.
Yoder said he supported the measure, as did Culver.
“I am pro-life,” Culver said. “I think a child in a womb is a human being.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.