This session’s major road funding bill cleared its first legislative hurdle as the House Roads Committee approved the measure, largely along party lines.
Around four dozen people – most of whom represented various stakeholder organizations – testified for more than four hours on the road funding bill.
HB 1002, which includes fuel tax increases and new vehicle registration fees, makes for strange bedfellows – opponents include House Democrats and the conservative, religious organization American Family Association of Indiana, represented by executive director Micah Clark.
“We’re concerned about this tax increase because we believe Hoosier families are still hurting from the last eight years of this economy that’s been quite stagnant,” Clark says.
And backing House Republicans in their road funding plan are union organizations, including the Laborers Union, represented by Brian Short.
“With our 12,000 members, approximately 72 percent of our work in the last several years has been in the highway industry … and we support this bill so our members can go to work,” Short says.
The bill now heads to the House Ways and Means Committee.