February 3, 2016

Senate Approves Gov. Pence's Road Plan

INDIANAPOLIS -- Senate legislators unanimously endorsed Gov. Mike Pence’s short term road funding plan Wednesday, sending it to the House one day after House Republicans pushed through their long term road plan. 

The governor’s plan, carried by Republican Sen. Carlin Yoder, spends more than $200 million from the state’s budget reserves to bolster state road maintenance funding.  And it would allow the state to bond for road projects – after next year’s budget session.

“As it looks now, [it] may not even need to be part of the discussion, but we’ll see moving forward,” Yoder said.

And Yoder notes the Pence-Senate package includes no tax increases, unlike the House Republican plan, which raises the gas and cigarette taxes. 

Speaker Brian Bosma notes his caucus’ plan shares a similarity with Yoder’s bill – they spend down the surplus in virtually the same way.  Yet Bosma, defending the tax cuts in House Republicans’ proposal, says it also goes beyond just the next couple of years.

“We have a lot of local options that are not included in the Senate program – or the governor’s program – and of course we give a sustainable funding solution, which would cost the average Hoosier driver $25 dollars,” Bosma said.

Bosma says some parts of the two plans are mutually exclusive but hopes both chambers can develop a single road funding package.

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