A Senate bill to fund major transportation projects throughout the state as well as the state’s Regional Cities Initiative has cleared the House with changes. House members included provisions Thursday to pay for road and bridge fixes, in part, through gas and cigarette tax hikes. Our partners at WIBC/Network Indiana report a meeting among Governor Mike Pence, House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88) and Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-16) will aim to hash out several key differences in how future road and bridge work will ultimately be funded.
WIBC/Network Indiana reports Long is "adamant" the Senate won’t agree to raising gas and cigarette taxes, adding more discussion is needed on which projects need the funding and from where the funds will come.
The original bill that would provide an additional $42 million to Regional Cities died earlier this week, but the funding mechanism was moved out of that bill and into Senate Bill 333, the Senate’s take on transportation funding. That measure, approved in the House Thursday by a 57-33 margin, heads back to the Senate for final debate. House Bill 1001, which addresses transportation, but not Regional Cities, was approved early this week and is awaiting discussion by members of a Senate and House conference committee. Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee stripped out some portions of the bill, including the cigarette and gas tax increases.