BIC MATTERS CALL TO ACTION: HB 1002 Up for Vote in Senate Tax Committee

TO: BIC Grassroots Network
FROM: Vicki Kitchin
DATE: March 16, 2017

BIC MATTERS: HB 1002 Up for Vote in Senate Tax Committee

Call to Action: If your Senator is a member of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee, contact him/her by end of day Monday, March 20. Ask your Senator to support HB 1002, which provides long-term, dedicated and stable funding for state and local road and bridge improvements. As passed by the House, the bill provides over $1.1 billion per year in additional new funding for INDOT and local governments.

Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee
Chairman Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek) 317-232-9840
Ranking Member Travis Holdman (R-Markle) 317-232-9807
Sen. James Buck (R-Kokomo) 317-232-9466
Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) 317-232-9494
Sen. Erin Houchin (R-Salem) 317-232-9488
Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) 317-232-9453
Sen. Ryan D. Mishler (R-Bremen) 317-232-9814
Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Centerville) 317-233-0930
Sen. James Smith (R-Charlestown) 317-234-9426
Sen. Greg Walker (R-Columbus) 317-232-9984
Ranking Minority Member Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington) 317-232-9847
Sen. Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) 317-232-9534
Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D-East Chicago) 317-232-9532
Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) 317-232-9847

Senate Committee May Amend/Vote on HB 1002 Next Week
Senator Brandt Hershman, Chairman of the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee told committee members that they will likely amend and vote on HB 1002 next week (possibly Tuesday, March 21). His comment came at the end of a joint hearing on the bill with the Senate Transportation Committee where they heard about four hours of testimony earlier this week.

At that hearing, Representative Ed Soliday, Chairman of the House Roads and Transportation Committee and the bill author, kicked-off testimony. He emphasized that the House approach has come after six years of studying road needs in the state and evaluating the best methods of paying for improvements. He underscored the principles contained in HB 1002: it is data driven, sustainable and long-term.

INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness and Chief of Staff Chris Kiefer testified next. They illustrated the condition of state-maintained roads and bridges and the additional funding needed to prevent worsening conditions. They also discussed future projects for which no funding is available. They assured the committee that INDOT and industry have the capacity to handle any new funds that are authorized by the legislature with Commissioner McGuinness saying, “We are ready.”

The committee then heard from over 20 groups supporting HB 1002 and six groups opposing all or part of the bill. Detractors included representatives of anti-tax groups, petroleum marketers and convenience store owners. Proponents included BIC’s Dennis Faulkenberg, ACEC-IN’s John Brand, Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness, LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo, Tippecanoe County Commissioner Tom Murtaugh, and representatives from state and local chambers, organized labor, truckers, farmers, manufacturers, county officials, real estate and logistics.

Given that Chairman Hershman alerted the committee that they would likely amend and vote on HB 1002 next week, it is crucial that all members take part in the Call to Action noted above. After you talk with your Senator, send us an email and let us know what your Senator said.

Last Call to Register for Road Funding Day #2 on March 21
We need a strong turnout by BIC members next week for Road Funding Day on March 21 at the Statehouse. We have 80 registered – but we need 180! Show up anytime between 10 AM – 3 PM. Check in at our table on the 3rd floor of the statehouse. Pick up your talking points and then we’ll help you find your legislators. Your mission is to ask for their support in passing a long-term road funding package this session. We need a strong turnout for this event so that legislators hear support from back home. Register and see who else will be attending here: Road Funding Day on March 21.

Town Halls for this Weekend
This week’s list includes meetings tomorrow (Friday) in Kokomo, LaPorte and Valparaiso. On Saturday there are meetings in Staunton, Greencastle, Jeffersonville, Goshen, Lafayette and Monticello. Legislators tell us that having road funding supporters at these meetings is very helpful. Please take the time to show up and talk to your legislators.

Thanks and keep up the great work.

BIC MATTERS – House Passes Long-term Road Funding Bill

TO: BIC Grassroots Network
FROM: Vicki Kitchin
DATE: February 16, 2017

BIC MATTERS: House Passes Long Term Road Funding Bill

House Passes HB 1002
Today, with a vote of 61-36, the Indiana House of Representatives passed HB 1002 which provides long-term, dedicated and stable funding for state and local roads and bridges. Roads and Transportation Chairman Ed Soliday explained the bill’s provisions, which include the following:

  • increases the gasoline tax, special fuels tax and motor carrier surcharge tax each by 10 cents to restore lost buying power since the taxes were last raised,
  • indexes all fuel tax rates annually using a formula that incorporates CPI-U and Indiana personal income growth (the indexing sunsets in 2024),
  • transfers the remaining 4.5 pennies of the sales tax on gasoline from the General Fund to the State Highway Fund,
  • implements a $15 annual statewide infrastructure improvement fee on all vehicles registered in Indiana,
  • implements a $150 annual statewide infrastructure improvement fee on all electric vehicles registered in Indiana and increases the current alternative fuel vehicle fee to $150,
  • requires INDOT to further study tolling and submit a waiver to the federal government to allow tolling on existing interstates (the first toll road implemented cannot be within 75 miles of an existing toll facility)
  • lowers the minimum population threshold applicable to the municipal wheel tax/surtax from 10,000 to 5,000.

HB 1002 would generate new road funding immediately with the amount gradually increasing each year. Click here for the latest fiscal analysis.

In a rare move, Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma spoke on the floor in support of the bill. He emphasized that HB 1002 is the result of six years of study, relies on user fees and does not increase state debt. He thanked Chairman Soliday and Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown for their work on the bill.

After about one hour of debate, the House voted 61-36 to pass the bill. Seven House Republicans and all Democrats voted against the bill. You can see the vote sheet here.

BIC sincerely appreciates the House Republican leadership and all caucus members who voted in favor of HB 1002. We ask all members to contact your legislator with a “Thank You,” if he/she voted “Yes” on the bill today.

Next Steps
HB 1002 now goes to the Senate where its sponsors are Senator Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) and Senator Michael Crider (R-Greenfield). We do not expect a Senate committee to hear the bill until sometime in March. Now is the time to reach out to your Senator and encourage their support of HB 1002.

Town Halls
Thanks to all of you who have been contacting legislators and attending town hall meetings. We ask that you continue to attend these meetings, express your support for House members who voted yes today and encourage your Senators to support it. This week’s list includes meetings in Bedford, Valparaiso, Orleans, Greencastle, Fort Wayne, Goshen, Spencer, Frankfort, Decatur, Berne, Veedersburg, Lafayette, West Lafayette, and Princeton.

Send BIC a note with feedback from these meetings. Remember, we have a long way to go in this process.

BIC MATTERS – Local and Federal Updates

Update on Local Funding for Road and Bridge Projects
We’ve received several phone calls since the end of the state legislative session requesting information about the new local road and bridge funding authorized through passage of HEA 1001 and SEA 67. INDOT has scheduled several meetings around the state from May 23 to May 31 to provide more information about the local matching fund grant program and the required asset management plans. See the links below for the INDOT meeting schedule and other information that you may find useful.

  1. INDOT Local Road and Bridge Funding Meetings May 23-31, 2016
  2. INDOT Local Public Agency Programs website, containing links to Local Road and Bridge Funding Summary memo and Road Funding Presentation
  3. Purdue LTAP special newsletter describing grant process and transportation asset management plans.
  4. Table showing distribution of excess LOIT reserves to local units.

BIC Goes to Washington
About 20 individuals representing Build Indiana Council joined 300 others from across the country at the Transportation Construction Fly-In to Washington in May.

BIC’s group met with both Indiana Senator Dan Coats and Senator Joe Donnelly, as well as each of the nine Indiana U. S. Representatives or members of their staff. In a refreshing twist, BIC members were able to share a message of “thanks” with our delegation for their support of the FAST ACT that congress passed in late 2015. The Fast Act provides some certainty for our industry over the next five years, and all of Indiana’s congressional delegation supported the bill’s passage. BIC’s message, however, did include a reminder that Congress did not enact a stable, long-term way to pay for highway investment. BIC also reminded the delegation that Indiana’s rate of return on federal highway funds is only 92.7 percent, and may drop even lower as Indiana’s contributions into the trust fund rise. Check out the Current Issues page on BIC’s website for photos and talking points from the event.

If you have any questions about this issue of BIC Matters, call BIC at (317) 634-4774.