CHICAGO - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will push for a balanced budget amendment to the state's constitution.

"A balanced budget requirement in the constitution of the state of Indiana will assure Hoosiers that today and tomorrow, Indiana will spend wisely, protect our state from an economic downturn and, unlike Washington DC, we won't bury our children and grandchildren under mountains of debt," Pence said Tuesday in his third State of the State address.

Indiana is one of the few states without a balanced budget requirement, he said.

The first-term Republican governor touted the triple-A rated state's economic position, saying fiscal disciple had been the "hallmark of the last decade" despite the lack of the balanced budget requirement.

"On the eve of our bicentennial, our state has never been stronger," said Pence. "Indiana is on a roll." He cited recent income-tax cuts, which were the largest in the state's history, coupled with its $2 billion reserves and $800 million in new road funding in the current budget.

Pence said he also wants to oversee an increase in charter schools as well as the state's school voucher program, already one of the largest voucher programs in the country.

Last week, Pence unveiled a $31 billion two-year budget that recommends a modest bump in spending while taking on no new debt and financing nearly $700 million in capital projects with cash generated by budget savings.

Pence is considering a 2016 presidential run and have said he would announce a decision after the current legislative session ends in April.

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