TO: BIC Grassroots Network
FROM: Vicki Kitchin, Executive Director
DATE: January 26, 2017
SUBJECT: BIC Matters – This Week’s Town Hall Schedule and HB 1002 Update
Much to update you on this week – we will be as succinct as possible.
Attend a Town Hall Meeting – Use this Updated Schedule to Find One in Your Area
Use this updated list of town hall meetings to find one in your area. Local legislators typically attend. Road funding advocates (specifically BIC members) need to attend these meetings to offer legislators encouragement and positive affirmation about HB 1002, the long-term road funding plan working its way through the House of Representatives. Keep in mind that opponents will attend these meetings so it’s critically important that supporters attend to counter their negative messaging. This week’s list includes Carmel, Jeffersonville, Shelbyville, Delphi, Kokomo, South Bend, Richmond, Fort Wayne, Rochester, Vincennes, Greensburg, Vevay, Frankfort, Columbus and Danville. Your mission: Attend and talk to your local legislator about why passage of HB 1002 is important and encourage them to support it. After you attend, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can track what is happening in each legislator’s local community.
Our coalition has posted tools to a drop box account including Twitter graphics and other items you can use to promote the passage of HB 1002. We encourage you to use Twitter and Facebook to send positive messages about our effort. Also, follow BIC on Twitter at @BuildINCouncil.
Register for Road Funding Day at the Indiana State House
Over 60 people have signed up for the February 21, 2017 event. We will invite all legislators to attend the lunch portion of the program and we’ll all go to the Statehouse after lunch to talk with those legislators who could not attend the lunch. Sign up today at the Road Funding Day registration site.
House Roads Committee Passes Long-term Road Funding Bill
At the conclusion of about 6.5 hours of testimony yesterday, the House Roads and Transportation Committee passed HB 1002 on a vote of 8-5. It was nearly a party line vote with all but one Republican (Rep. Bob Morris – Fort Wayne) voting in favor of the bill, and all Democrats voting against. While this was a joint hearing with the Ways and Means Committee, only the Roads and Transportation Committee voted. Committee Chairman Ed Soliday presented the bill and talked about the years that he and the committee have studied this issue and said that now is the time to act. The committee did amend the bill including capping indexing at one cent per year after the initial tax increases. Commissioner Joe McGuinness and Chief of Staff Chris Kiefer testified for INDOT. They clearly illustrated the funding shortages that INDOT faces if additional funding is not approved this year. Testifying from BIC were Jeff Mulzer of Mulzer Crushed Stone and J.H. Rudolph & Co., John Brand of Butler, Fairman & Seufert and BIC lobbyist Dennis Faulkenberg of APPIAN. By BIC’s count, 34 testifiers supported the bill while six were opposed. Supporters included truckers, mayors, commissioners, county highway engineers, chambers, manufacturers, logistic companies, labor and others. Opponents were conservative anti-tax groups.
A big THANK YOU to Chairman Soliday and the members of the Roads and Transportation Committee who voted in favor of HB 1002. Also, THANK YOU to all the BIC member companies who attended the hearing. We all wore “Road Funding Yes!” stickers and filled the House chamber at the beginning of the hearing.
HB 1002 will now be recommitted to the House Ways and Means Committee. We don’t know yet when Chairman Tim Brown will hear the bill. Stay tuned.
INDOT BUDGET HEARING
On Tuesday, INDOT testified at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing about their budget for the upcoming biennium. Commissioner Joe McGuinness, CFO Dan Brassard and COS Chris Kiefer presented the budget and answered committee questions. It’s important to note that their presentation was based on known revenues at this time, rather than a presumption that the legislature will approve additional funding in this legislative session.
That’s it for this week. Keep us posted on what you’re hearing out there.