Pence Proposes $1B in Infrastructure Spending

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(Infographic Courtesy of The Office of Governor Mike Pence) The funding plan includes tapping into more than $240 million from the state's reserves. (Infographic Courtesy of The Office of Governor Mike Pence) The funding plan includes tapping into more than $240 million from the state's reserves.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence has unveiled the "21st Century Crossroads Plan," which he says will provide an additional $1 billion in road funding over the next four years without raising taxes. He says the effort will be funded from sources including existing sales tax, bond refinancing and state reserves. The majority of the plan will require legislative approval. Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath has called the plan "sheepish," saying Pence is doing "the bare minimum" to address a serious problem.

During today's announcement, Pence called much of the criticism of Indiana's infrastructure "political nonsense." He says, since 2013, his administration has committed more than $1.2 billion to infrastructure investments. Earlier this month, INDOT released findings from its latest statewide inspections, saying more than 90 percent of roads and more than 95 percent of bridges were rated in fair condition or better.

The debate came to the forefront in August, when the northbound lanes of I-65 between Lebanon and Lafayette were closed after concerns about the stability of the Wildcat Creek bridge.

The funding plan includes tapping into more than $240 million from the state's reserves. The state says it closed Fiscal Year 2015 with a structural surplus of $210 million and total reserves of more than $2.1 billion.

In a statement released shortly after today's announcement, Pelath said, "Indiana deserves more practical vision than what we got today. This is kicking loose change under the couch."

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