road funding

The legislative focus of this year’s session wasn’t a mystery. Lawmakers already spent more than a year debating road funding. And so it wasn’t a surprise when Gov. Eric Holcomb told the General Assembly this in the first weeks of session.

“I will work with you to establish a plan that invests in the new projects for the future that ensures Indiana will remain The Crossroads of America,” Holcomb said.

But it was not the only big goal – or debate – this session.

GOP Leaders Unveil Final Road Funding Package Details

Apr 20, 2017

 

Republican legislative leaders unveiled what Speaker Brian Bosma calls the “best infrastructure program” in state history.

GOP leaders say the funding package they’ve put together will eventually generate about $1.2 billion a year for state and local roads. Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) says that plan will last the next two decades.

“We’re not kicking the can down the road like they do in Washington,” Long says.

 

House Speaker Brian Bosma says legislative leaders have agreed to a road funding plan in principle. Leadership will now take the plan to their caucuses for approval.

Though stingy on details, Bosma calls the agreed-upon plan the “strongest road investment” in state history.

“I can tell that you we believe – after a lot of discussion with the Senate – that we’ve met our mutual goals of long-term, comprehensive road funding,” Bosma says.

Indiana’s new revenue forecast is slightly more optimistic about the state’s fiscal picture for the next two years. But House and Senate fiscal leaders say it doesn’t change their budget plans.

Local officials say their piece of the road funding pie needs to be a lot bigger after a significant decrease in the Senate plan. The Senate proposal cut local funding by more than two-thirds from the House version.

And while local officials obviously aren’t happy with the funding decrease in the Senate roads bill, there are other provisions they’d also like to see changed.

After a more than hour-long debate, the Indiana Senate advanced legislation that raises taxes and creates new fees to fund the state’s road and bridge maintenance.

Senate GOP Eliminates Cigarette Tax Hike In Its Budget

Mar 30, 2017

 

Senate Republicans rolled out their version of the budget bill Thursday, one that diverges from the House budget in a few key areas.

Senate Changes Road Funding Bill, Adds New Fees

Mar 28, 2017

Senate lawmakers put their own stamp on this session’s comprehensive road funding bill while keeping the measure’s primary tax increase intact.

After amendments in a Senate committee, the road funding bill still increases the gas tax by 10 cents. Now, that increase would happen over two years – 5 cents a year. The diesel fuel tax would only go up six cents, instead of 10, also over two years.

The new $15 annual fee for all vehicles is unchanged; the Senate added a $100 annual fee on all commercial vehicles and a $5 fee on all new tire purchases.

Senate Road Funding Talks Echo House Testimony

Mar 14, 2017

 

Members of the public – mostly lobbyists and trade organizations – testified before Senate lawmakers Tuesday on the comprehensive road funding bill.

And it echoed testimony in the House from earlier this session.

Chris Morisse Vizza/WBAA Radio

Two different messages delivered just one day apart at Purdue University’s annual “Road School” appear to indicate a disconnect between Governor Eric Holcomb and Holcomb’s newly appointed Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe McGuinness.

McGuinness, who served five years as Mayor of Franklin, says he’s a local-minded person.

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