February 29, 2016

House GOP Ties Road Funding Plan To Regional Cities And Pensioner Money

House Republicans want to tie the fate of their road funding plan to money for the Regional Cities Initiative and Hoosier pensioners.   - stock photo

House Republicans want to tie the fate of their road funding plan to money for the Regional Cities Initiative and Hoosier pensioners.

stock photo

INDIANAPOLIS -- House Republicans want to tie the fate of their road funding plan to money for the Regional Cities Initiative and Hoosier pensioners. 

It's the GOP representatives’ latest move to preserve a plan that is funded by contentious gas and cigarette tax increases.

The Senate and Gov. Mike Pence have opposed the House infrastructure proposal because of those tax increases.  So, House lawmakers put their plan into a bill with two issues that enjoy broader support. The first is funding for a third Regional Cities Initiative winner – intended to bolster regional economic development. The second, called “the 13th check,” would provide additional pension money for Hoosier retirees. 

Ways and Means Chair Tim Brown says he’s trying to forge agreement.

“The amnesty money, in theory, is what we agree on.  The 13th check, in theory, is what we agree on. Road funding, in theory, is what we agree on," Brown said. "It’s how we get there.”

Democrats such as Rep. Greg Porter mockingly chided Republicans’ attempts to get yes votes for their road funding plan (which was originally contained in House Bill 1001).

“This is House Bill, essentially, 1001…with some sprinkles, right," Porter asked. "OK.  I gave up sugar for Lent. I vote nay.”

The committee approved the bill 13-8, sending it to the House floor.

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