BIC Matters: Vote Counts for Highway Funding Bill

TO: BIC Grassroots Network
FROM: Vicki Kitchin, Executive Director
DATE: April 25, 2017

BIC Matters: Vote Counts for Highway Funding Bill

We’ve had several requests for the final vote counts on House Enrolled Act 1002. It’s interesting to note that the final votes were bipartisan. In the House, 60 Republicans and 9 Democrats voted in favor, while 8 Republicans and 21 Democrats opposed the bill. In the Senate, 33 Republicans and 4 Democrats voted in favor, while 7 Republicans and 5 Democrats voted no.

Here, we share those vote counts, a copy of the final legislation that awaits Governor Holcomb’s signature and the fiscal summary showing the new funding for INDOT and locals.

House Vote
Senate Vote
HEA 1002 Language
HEA 1002 Fiscal Summary

We are continuing to analyze the final language and will send updates as available.

Meanwhile, if your legislators voted in favor of the bill, please reach out to them. This vote was courageous and difficult for many of them; it is important that the BIC Grassroots Network show appreciation to those legislators who voted for this major highway funding package.They deserve a big “Thank You!”

Also, take the time to send special thanks to Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, Chairman Ed Soliday, Chairman Tim Brown, Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, Chairman Luke Kenley, Chairman Mike Crider and Chairman Brandt Hershman. Their leadership made this happen.

BIC Matters: Indiana Legislature Passes Long-Term, Dedicated, Stable Highway Funding Package

TO: BIC Grassroots Network
FROM: Vicki Kitchin
DATE: April 22, 2017

BIC Matters: Indiana Legislature Passes Long-Term, Dedicated, Stable Highway Funding Package

The Indiana state legislature has passed HB 1002, the highway funding package that will provide long-term, dedicated and stable increased funding for state and local highways, roads, streets and bridges. The House voted 69-29 in favor; the Senate voted 37-12 in favor; and both votes had bipartisan support. The bill now goes to Governor Holcomb for his signature; he has publicly indicated his support for the package.

HB 1002 will result in additional funding of $617 million in FY 2018 growing each year to an additional $1.209 billion in FY 2024. Specifically, it includes the following:

  • Raises gas, diesel and motor carrier surcharge taxes by 10 cents each beginning in FY18 and indexes the taxes annually for seven years with a one cent per year cap
  • Gradually shifts the sales tax on gas to the state highway fund by 2025 (but allows the Governor to hold back these funds for general fund purposes subject to review by the state budget committee)
  • Increases the International Registration Plan and BMV registration fees by 25% for trucks greater than 26,000 lbs.
  • Implements a $15 statewide transportation infrastructure fee for all vehicles less than 26,000 lbs.
  • Implements an annual electric vehicle fee of $150 and a hybrid fee of $50
  • Eliminates the sales tax on special fuel
  • Requires INDOT to study tolling and to apply for a federal tolling waiver; requires state budget committee review before INDOT could implement tolling
  • Requires INDOT to develop metrics and prioritize projects using a data-driven model
  • Moves the motor carrier surcharge tax to the pump and applies to all diesel buyers
  • Continues the community crossing matching grant program for locals and modifies the match requirements as follows: counties over 50,000 population and cities/towns over 10,000 population will be at a 50/50 match; counties under 50,000 population and cities/towns under 10,000 population will be at a 75/25 match
  • Allows INDOT to operate a federal funds exchange program with locals
  • Extends local wheel tax/surtax adoption deadlines
  • Restricts local uses of MVH funds to exclude paying for police and painting structures and requires that 50% of MVH funds be used for construction, reconstruction and maintenance
  • Phases in changes to the MVH split from current 53% state/47% local to 60% state and 40% local beginning in FY18 and ending in FY23
  • Allows the IFA to facilitate the completion of a P3 project in a situation where the P3 agreement has been terminated or the IFA has exercised its right to seek remedies

Our state legislators deserve our praise and thanks for taking this courageous vote to improve our state’s highways and bridges and ensure that Indiana reaches the next level for the future.

Chairman Ed Soliday has worked to achieve this measure for at least six years. He has mandated an approach and solution that is unequivocally data-driven. House Speaker Brian Bosma and Chairman Tim Brown have led the House Republican caucus in pressing for solutions, understanding the significance of this issue and advocating for this vote.

In the Senate, Chairman Luke Kenley has worked hard to figure out a financing plan that invests in our highway system while ensuring general fund stability. President Pro Tempore David Long, Chairman Mike Crider and Chairman Brandt Hershman worked with their caucus members to ensure this issue is addressed for the long-term.

BIC would like to thank our broad coalition of partner organizations who have worked closely together for many years to convince legislators of the need for additional investment. These partners include local governments, agriculture, state and local chambers, organized labor and many others.

Also, BIC would like to thank our member associations: ACEC-IN, ACPA-IN, APAI, ICI, IED, IMAA and IRMCA for continued support and perseverance. Our members (all of you, the members of these associations) have been the core of our grassroots network and have responded to our calls to action. Your contacts have made all the difference in this effort.

Finally, we owe great thanks to our professional highway funding experts and lobbying team: Dennis Faulkenberg and Laurie Maudlin of APPIAN Advisors and Bill Livvix of BRL Associates. This achievement is a direct result of their expertise and tenacity and wouldn’t have been possible without them.

Thanks to all.

BIC MATTERS: Urge Your Legislators and Gov. Holcomb to Support Road Funding Bill

TO: BIC Grassroots Network
FROM: Vicki Kitchin, Executive Director
DATE: April 11, 2017

BIC MATTERS: Urge Your Legislators and Governor Holcomb to Support Road Funding Bill

Within the next eleven days legislators from the House and Senate, along with Governor Eric Holcomb will need to hash out a long-term plan for additional road funding. This is a once in a generation opportunity to get it right and we believe they can do it. Yesterday’s conference committee hearing on HB 1002 provided a perfect launching point for these negotiations (see below for hearing recap).

What can you do to help? Within these next few days, make a point to reach out to your legislators. If you have a contact with Governor Holcomb or his staff, reach out there also. Your message is simple: Support long-term, dedicated, stable and adequate funding so that INDOT and local governments can provide the transportation system required to take Indiana to the next level. BIC supports the funding levels in the House-passed version of HB 1002 which would generate about $1.1 billion annually in new funding when fully implemented.

Please report to BIC any feedback you get from your legislators or the Governor’s office. It’s very important that we get a read on what legislators are telling constituents. After a deal is reached, both the House and Senate will need to vote on the agreement. You can reach BIC at (317) 439-2108.

Recap of April 10 Conference Committee Hearing
Thanks to all who attended the joint House-Senate Conference Committee meeting on HB 1002. We accomplished our goal of filling the House Chamber with road funding supporters. BIC members came from many corners of the state. We appreciate your time and effort.

Testimony
Representative Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) chaired the meeting. He urged testifiers to limit remarks to three minutes each. Even with that guideline, the committee listened to over two hours of testimony mostly from supporters urging conferees to pass the higher funding levels contained in the House version of HB 1002.

INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness led testimony telling the committee that INDOT’s needs haven’t changed since he first testified earlier in session. He said INDOT’s needs have likely increased since January given the freeze/thaw cycles we’ve experienced this spring. He said INDOT needs additional funding just to preserve and maintain the existing system and the need grows from there when adding in capital projects designed for increased mobility. Chairman Soliday asked McGuinness to explain why Indiana needs to conduct a tolling study. McGuinness said there are many questions about tolling such as: what are the federal requirements; what could the state expect in revenue projections from tolls; on which interstates would tolling work best; and what are the costs of building out the system.

Several representatives from local government talked about their preference for the funding levels in the House version of HB 1002 and their grave concerns about the funding formula changes in the Senate version.

Bob McCullouch, Ph.D., P.E., Program Manager of Purdue LTAP, described the information his group analyzed from the local asset management plans submitted last year as part of the Community Crossings Grant program. He talked about local road and bridge condition ratings and the funding that would be required to maintain the system. The data is summarized in Purdue LTAP publication “12-2016 Indiana Local Road and Bridge Conditions.”

Others testifying in support included representatives from the logistics industry, mayors, state and local chambers of commerce, truckers, organized labor, engineers, commissioners, county government, farmers and Build Indiana Council. One anti-tax advocate testified in opposition, an oil company owner expressed concern with fuel pricing compared to neighboring states and one business expressed concern about increased truck registration fees.

Committee Discussion
When testimony concluded, Chairman Soliday urged committee discussion. Senator Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) commented that it had been a good hearing. He said the Senate tried to explore new ways to provide road funding. He emphasized that tolling will be necessary to provide future revenue. He said that the legislature has never before tried to raise this level of revenue for any purpose and that they have to do it this year. He thanked Chairman Soliday for leading the charge.

Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) said the Senate version of HB 1002 does not provide enough funding for local roads. She is concerned about increased truck fees and if the sales tax on gas is moved from the general fund to road accounts it has to be replaced by something. She agreed the state needs to look at tolling to capture revenue from out-of-state traffic.

Chairman Soliday recessed the meeting and said conferees would continue meeting to discuss issues and reach a final agreement before the end of the legislative session (likely to be Friday, April 21).

BIC MATTERS: Senate Passes Road Funding Bill

TO: BIC Grassroots Network
FROM: Vicki Kitchin, Executive Director
DATE: April 5, 2017

BIC MATTERS: Senate Passes Road Funding Bill

Late yesterday afternoon on a vote of 34-13, the Indiana Senate passed its version of HB 1002. The strong vote for passage in the Senate underscores Senate leadership’s resolve to pass a comprehensive road funding bill this session. During the floor debate, several senators testified in support of the bill including Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, Appropriations Committee Chairman Luke Kenley, Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee Chairman Brandt Hershman and Transportation Committee Chairman and bill sponsor Mike Crider.

The Senate passed HB 1002 in the same form as passed by the Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee last week. As a reminder, the bill now includes the following revenue provisions:

  • Ten cent gas tax increase phased in over two years;
  • Six cent diesel tax increase phased in over two years;
  • Ten cent diesel surcharge increase phased in over two years and moved to pump;
  • Increase in vehicle registration fee of $15 per year;
  • 50% increase in commercial vehicle registration fees and International Registration Plan registration fees;
  • Increases fee on new tire sales by $5 per tire;
  • Annual $75 fee for hybrid vehicles;
  • Allows the Governor through Indiana Finance Authority and INDOT to pursue tolling.

We now have a comparison of the new revenue raised by the House and Senate versions of HB 1002. By 2021 the House-passed bill would result in $1.13 billion in annual new funding, with $748 million going to INDOT and $382 million going to locals. The Senate-passed version would result in $766 million in annual new funding with $610 million going to INDOT and $156 million to locals.

NEXT STEP: The House can now concur or dissent on the Senate version of HB 1002. We expect the House will dissent. This action will result in a conference committee established to negotiate a final version of the bill. For the most part, these negotiations will take place in private meetings between House and Senate leadership and the Governor.

BIC applauds the Indiana Senate for passing HB 1002. While it falls short of the funding in the House version, this action by the Senate keeps the discussion alive and allows for the opportunity to reach an agreement on a final bill.

ACTION REQUESTED: We ask that BIC members take the time to thank Senators who voted in favor of HB 1002. Keep in mind that this was a difficult vote for many Senators. Thank them for their vote and remind them of the $1.2 billion per year need for INDOT and the $775 million per year need for locals. Ask them to support conference committee negotiations that move closer to filling this need for state and local road and bridge improvements.

Legislative leaders are planning to adjourn the session on April 21. Between now and then legislators will be negotiating several issues including the road funding package, the overall state budget and many others. So, stay tuned and keep up your contacts with your House and Senate members. Remember, for a final road funding package to be approved, they will all need to cast another vote.

Call BIC with questions or with any feedback you get from legislators.