Photo: Tom Smith (flickr)
After a first, unsuccessful try, the Indiana House Monday passed legislation investing state dollars in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the state’s motorsports industry.
The original Senate bill was aimed solely at providing financial support to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for much-needed improvements at the track. The House broadened the measure to include the state’s entire motorsports industry.
Crawfordsville Republican Tim Brown says expanding the bill’s reach will affect the districts of just about every House member.
“Ninety-one out of 92 counties have motorsports touching them,” Brown says. “There’s over 1600 businesses. There’s over 23,000 employees out there.”
The bill sends $5 million a year to the Motor Speedway, with that money taken from increased tax revenue at the track. It also invests $5 million in the statewide motorsports industry.
Huntington Republican Dan Leonard says that money, which the motorsports industry didn’t request, could be better spent.
“And we’re going to put $5 million a year into a fund to help people that haven’t even asked for it,” Leonard says. “And what about the pre-kindergarten kids?”
The bill failed to garner a constitutional majority on its first vote Monday, with only 47 House members voting for it, with 46 opposed. 51 members are required to pass legislation.
On a second attempt later in the day, the measure earned 56 aye votes. It is expected to go to conference committee for the House and Senate to work out their differences.