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Lawmakers Split On Spending $400 Million Transportation Fund

The General Assembly could decide to use $400 million it set aside last year for future transportation projects.

bridge construction

Photo: Dave Emerson (Flickr)

The Major Moves 2020 fund was originally created to set aside money for long-term transportation projects.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate are disagreeing on whether the legislature should retain some control over $400 million dedicated to transportation.

The General Assembly created the Major Moves 2020 fund in last year’s budget.

The fund was created largely by Senate Appropriations Chair Luke Kenley, who first introduced it into the budget process. Kenley’s idea was to set aside the money for future, long-term projects such as adding more lanes to Interstates 65 and 70 or finishing I-69.

Governor Mike Pence wants the legislature to release that fund to the state so it can spend the money on current projects. Kenley says he hasn’t heard a good explanation on why the funds are needed.

“I don’t think we ought to release the money unless the legislature agrees to the purpose that it’s going to,” Kenley says.

The House approved legislation releasing the money to the executive branch while setting aside $25 million for local roads.

House Speaker Brian Bosma says he prefers to allow the Indiana Department of Transportation to decide what to do with the money.

“I hesitate to get into the position of legislating a precise list of projects,” he says. “We went through that with Major Moves and it’s very difficult to make those kind of executive decisions in a legislative forum.”

The bill is now in the Senate for its consideration.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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  • Frank Rizzo

    They should have added lanes to I65 and I70 years ago. Chicago to Louisville is jam packed the whole way.

  • Bob Eckert

    Fix the local and non-interstate roads NOW!!!!!!!!

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