February 24, 2016

Legislative Maneuvering Begins For Competing Road Funding Plans

INDIANAPOLIS -- A House committee Wednesday kicked off what will be a series of legislative maneuvers between the two chambers over House and Senate road funding plans. 

The House Roads and Transportation Committee advanced Senate Bill 333 -- Gov. Mike Pence’s state road funding plan -- but not before making some major changes.  The committee took out a portion of the plan that would allow the state to take out bonds for road construction.  The Pence administration, since proposing that idea, has said it now doesn’t plan to do so anyway and is fine with that change. 

The House committee then added the entire House Republican road funding plan into 333 before advancing the bill.  Both Senate leadership and the governor’s office have expressed opposition to the House plan – specifically the two tax increases in it. 

Sen. Carlin Yoder, author of Pence’s road funding bill, says he would have preferred his legislation advance without any changes, but understands the committee’s addition is part of the process.

“I think we’re all aware this will go to a conference committee and the hard work will begin," Yoder said. "So do what you will and we’ll see you in conference committee.”

A Senate committee Thursday is expected to largely dismantle the House GOP road funding bill, prompting the House committee’s action.  The two chambers will work ro resolve their differences over the next two weeks in the conference committee process.

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