The Indiana House unanimously passed a bill Monday that would expand support for in-state military bases.
Senate Bill 260 – authored by Sen. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City – would allow local units of government to fund bases or other entities that provide support to the base.
Local governments would be able to use revenue to provide support – including constructing roads and buildings – for a base’s promotion or growth.
Banks said Fort Wayne has continuously fought to retain the Indiana Air National Guard’s 122nd Fighter Wing, which brings the area an estimated $58 million in economic development.
He said he authored the bill in anticipation of military bases’ possible closure or realignment in the future.
“The 122nd Fighter Wing is a vital asset to the Fort Wayne area, both in terms of defense and economic growth,” Banks said. “This bill would give communities like Fort Wayne the option to extend financial support to its military bases, even in the face of federal funding cuts.”
SB 260 now returns to the Senate for concurrence, before moving on to Gov. Mike Pence for his signature.
John Sittler is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.