A local state representative says he is looking forward to the possibility of additional road funding for local governments.
The short session of the Indiana General Assembly will convene next week. The list of contested topics is relatively short at this time, but is expected to fill out once bills are introduced in committee.
16th District State Representative Doug Gutwein says the proposal he has heard most about calls for allocating funds to local governments for the improvement of roads and infrastructure, but says he is still waiting to hear details on some other proposals prior to offering support.
“Until we get down there next week and start looking into these three proposals, I’m really not sure,” says Gutwein.
The proposals follow months of discussion among county and local governments about the level of road funding received from the state. Some county governments considered using a Wheel Tax to help fund improvement and repairs.
The road funding bill from the House Transportation Committee coincides with what has been previously termed the infrastructure session. Other bills have called for increasing taxes, or simply dipping into reserves. The state has a total of $2-billion to spend – something Democrats in the Senate have called for using as a source of revenue to repair Indiana’s infrastructure.
While proposal specifics are expected to be worked out over the coming weeks, State Representative Gutwein says there is always the possibility the Transportation Committee bill could be fast-tracked.
“The billion dollar deal that the Governor put out had nothing for the locals, now Pulaski County is going to get about $2.2-million, the little town of Francesville is going to get $58-thousand, the little town of Medaryville is going to get $75-thousand and this is for road improvements in our little towns.”
By moving the bill along, it would allow time for local governments to receive revenue estimates and begin bidding projects in preparation for warmer months. Gutwein says he expects road funding to be a top focus of the legislature, this session.