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Senate Leaders, Governor Differ On Transportation Funding

Governor Mike Pence wants to use surplus dollars to fund transportation projects, but Senate leaders want a more permanent solution.

road closed

Photo: WFIU/WTIU News

A road closed sign shows where construction of I-69 has been completed so far.

Senate leaders say the governor’s proposal to use one-time, surplus revenue funds to pay for road maintenance and construction poses long-term issues.

If Indiana’s budget surplus exceeds 12.5 percent of the total budget, Governor Mike Pence’s proposal would allocate half that money for transportation funding. But Senate President Pro Tem David Long says that plan does not create a permanent solution.

“It doesn’t totally kick the can down the road as far as getting some money because I think clearly you can get some money in there that isn’t there today but the question is, will it be there next year, or the year after if our surpluses dry up.  And they could, very easily,” Long says.

Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane says one of his caucus’ proposals would divert some of the state sales tax on gasoline to local governments.

“In 2014 alone, about an additional $50 million that would be available to local roads and streets, to help them,” he says.

Lanane says another proposal would create low-interest loans for local governments to use on transportation projects.

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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