Mega Transportation Bill Moves Ahead With Tweaks

Updated:
Senator Luke Kenley (R-20) chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee. Senator Luke Kenley (R-20) chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Editor's Note: You can connect to the story titled "Lechleiter: 'Talent is Everything'" by clicking here.

INDIANAPOLIS- A massive transportation bill has unanimously cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee with some major changes. The committee approved a slate of amendments offered by Chair Luke Kenley (R-20), which include removing a proposed gas sales tax increase and indexing that would've gone with it. The changes also cut a tolling feasibility study for Interstates 65, 70, and 80/94. House Bill 1001 heads to the full Senate.

Kenley's amendments also trim out income tax reductions that were added by the House the first time through. The amended version of the bill also includes a $50 supplemental registration fee for hybrid vehicles.

Senator Karen Tallian (D-4) says the bill has some good points, but doesn't go far enough to address local road funding needs, which she says we need "right now." Tallian did laud the idea of removing the tax cuts and pointed to additional tax breaks not included in this bill that she feels should be nixed.

The bill's author is Representative Ed Soliday (R-4). He also chairs the House Transportation Committee and calls the amended bill a "solid building block" for what will be a highly scrutinized piece of legislation. Soliday says he never imagined a catch-all bill could be crafted in one session. He adds that he believes more discussion on road and bridge funding will go on beyond the next two years.

The bulk of the funding will come from state budgetary reserves. A bump in the state's cigarette tax to nearly $2 would also be used to pay for improvements.

The author, Representative Ed Soliday (R-4), says the bill is the culmination of a five-year cooperative effort between the chambers.
Senator Karen Tallian (D-4) is one of the bill's co-sponsors. She voted in favor of the legislation, but says it represents missed opportunities.
  • Perspectives

    • New Child Tax Credit: Will You Benefit?

      Do you have children? The Child Tax Credit was one of last year's most hotly-debated topics. Several senators, including Marco Rubio, called for a comprehensive overhaul before approving the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill. Ultimately, substantial changes were made. Here’s how the changes to the Child Tax Credit may impact you...

    More

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • CICF Announces 2018 Board Leadership

      Central Indiana Community Foundation has added board members and named board leadership and for boards of its affiliates. The CICF will be led by Chair: Greg Hahn (pictured), partner at Bose McKinney Evans LLP; Vice Chair: Aasif Bade (pictured), president of Ambrose Property Group; Treasurer: Kathy Davis, systems advisor to Mayor Joe Hogsett and Secretary: Mike Simmons, retired CEO of T2 Systems.

    • Springbuk Plans 'Momentous Announcement'

      Indianapolis-based Springbuk is planning what it calls a "momentous announcement." Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett will join the employer health data company for Monday afternoon's announcement at the Union 525 building downtown. Springbuk is headquartered at the downtown tech hub. Last summer, the company said its customer base had grown to 900, leading it to add about 10 employees.

    • Amazon Bid Draws Eyes to Northwest Indiana

      The mayor of Hammond says, while northwest Indiana was not included in the list of 20 finalists to land Amazon.com Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AMZN) second headquarters, the region's pitch has drawn other interest. Tom McDermott tells our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana another company is pursuing a $200 million development in the Lake County city. While he declined to name the company considering the investment, McDermott says it involves a tech project at the old State Line...

    • Holcomb Makes Additional Board Appointments

      Governor Eric Holcomb has made another round of appointments and reappointments to various boards and commissions throughout the state. They include the State Ethics Commission and the State Lottery Commission. The appointments include: Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority Board of Directors Tim Fesko (Dyer) will join the board and will serve as its chair. State Ethics Commission: James Clevenger, Corinne Finnerty and Katherine Noel.

    • IU Effort Sets Sights on Orange County

      Indiana University's Center for Rural Engagement will partner with Orange County for its second Sustaining Hoosier Communities project. Through the collaboration, more than 500 students in 15 courses will take part in work on economic, health and quality of life projects in the southwest central Indiana county throughout the academic year. Planned efforts include a community wellness initiative, an incubator kitchen and a youth artisan apprenticeship program.