Great job everyone. Thank you for responding to last week’s action alert and contacting your legislators. You made a difference. The House Roads and Transportation Committee passed HB 1001 yesterday on a vote of 8-5. Eight Republicans voted in favor of the bill. Representative Curt Nisly (R-Goshen) voted against it along with four Democrats.
The House Ways and Means Committee will be the next body to hear HB 1001, and that committee must pass it by next week for it to remain alive.
Now is the time to reach out to Ways and Means Committee members and let them know you strongly support HB 1001, especially if your legislator is on the committee. Ask them how they intend to vote. Once you reach your legislator, let BIC know what he or she said. Here’s a list of Ways and Means Committee members and their contact information.
The House Republican Caucus and the House Democrat Caucus are each discussing this measure in private meetings. So, even if your House member doesn’t serve on the Ways and Means Committee, it’s very important to reach out. Let lawmakers know you support HB 1001, and ask them to voice support in caucus meetings. Legislators need to know that constituents back home support HB 1001. If you’re not sure who your representative is, you can use this locator.
As a reminder, House Republican leadership including Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis), Ways and Means Committee Chairman Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville), and Roads and Transportation Committee Chairman Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) support HB 1001.
HB 1001 includes a variety of measures that would provide long-term, dedicated and stable increases in funding for both state and local roads and bridges. Leadership anticipates that HB 1001 would generate over $650 million in new funding for state roads in FY 2017 and about $250 million in new funding each year going forward. For local road improvements, the bill would generate about $215 million in new funding annually going forward. In addition, it allows local government entities greater flexibility to increase funding if they choose.
In yesterday’s Roads and Transportation Committee hearing, Chairman Soliday reminded the members that they have been collecting and analyzing data for the past four to five years. HB 1001 is based on data-driven analysis of needs. He said HB 1001 is an intermediate long-term solution aimed at taking care of what we have, and if HB 1001 passes, then next year we need to take additional steps to finish what we started and plan for the future.
We urge all BIC members to take the action noted above. We’ve got to stay active and vocal to make a difference.
Attend Road Funding Day at the Indiana Statehouse on January 25
With road funding taking center stage in this year’s legislative session, you can be part of something BIG – a chance to enact long-term solutions. Sign up now for this event. You’ll hear from INDOT Commissioner Brandye Hendrickson, House Roads and Transportation Chairman Ed Soliday and Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee Chairman Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek). RSVP here today.
On a vote of 49-1, the Senate passed Senator Hershman’s SB 67 earlier this week. SB 67 would release back to local entities the local option tax revenues the state holds in trust accounts and require 75 percent of the funds to be used on road and bridge improvements. BIC supports SB 67. Chairman Brown and Chairman Soliday are the House sponsors.
If you have any questions about this issue of BIC Matters, call us at (317) 634-4774.