BIC Matters – House Vote Coming on HB 1001 Road Funding Package
Big things are happening with road funding at the Indiana Statehouse, and we need your continued grassroots involvement with your legislators to keep the momentum going. Here’s the latest:
The House Ways and Means Committee passed HB 1001 today on a party line vote of 14-7. 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. HB 1001 would generate more than $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.
The Ways and Means Committee amended the bill on a party line vote to include an income tax reduction for non-corporate taxpayers beyond the cuts previously enacted. Current law provides for an income tax reduction from 3.4 percent to 3.23 percent for taxable years 2017-2018. HB 1001 would further reduce that rate to 3.06 percent by 2025. This provision is significant in that it reflects Governor Mike Pence’s previously expressed desire to further reduce the Indiana income tax.
HB 1001 is now eligible for amendment and full passage by the Indiana House of Representatives. The deadline for House passage is Wednesday, February 3.
So far, it is House Republicans who have proposed and voted for this bill in both the Roads and Transportation Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. Democrats have voted against the bill in both hearings.
ACTION REQUIRED: House Republican leaders and many of the rank and file legislators are being courageous and thoughtful by proposing the comprehensive measures found in HB 1001. Each of you needs to call your House member and stress the importance of passing HB 1001. Here is the contact information for House members. If you’re not sure who your representative is, you can use this locator.
Note: If your legislator has cast a committee vote in favor of HB 1001 (Roads and Transportation or Ways and Means), you should thank him or her and ask for a supporting vote on the House floor next week. If your House member is a Democrat, you should ask him or her to part from the caucus and vote yes on HB 1001.
Make your contacts before next Wednesday, February 3. We cannot take passage of HB 1001 for granted. Legislators need to know that constituents back home support them on this issue.
In other road funding news, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed SB 333 today. SB 333 began as Governor Mike Pence’s proposal to address funding for state roads over a four-year period. The bill relies on excess budget reserves and bonding to provide funding for state highway improvements. Before passing the bill, the Senate Appropriations Committee amended the bonding provisions, so bonds may not be issued until after the next budget session concludes (May 1, 2017).
BIC Members and Other Road Funding Advocates Make BIG Impact on Road Funding Day
Nearly 150 proponents participated in Road Funding Day at the Indiana Statehouse on January 25. After hearing remarks from Representative Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso), Senator Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek) and INDOT Commissioner Brandye Hendrickson, BIC lobbyists Dennis Faulkenberg and Laurie Maudlin laid out the framework and messaging for legislative visits. Participants descended upon the Statehouse, where they sought out legislators and talked to them about the importance of passing long-term, dedicated, stable and adequate road funding. In addition to contractors, designers, material and equipment suppliers, the group included local government officials, organized labor, chambers of commerce, logistics companies and agricultural interests. Thank you to everyone who participated.
Please be sure to contact your legislators as we requested above. If you have any questions about this issue of BIC Matters, call us at (317) 634-4774.