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.