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Senate GOP Unveils Local Roads Proposal

State Sen. Brandt Hershman unveils his funding plan for local roads and bridges.

Local communities around the state would receive more than $400 million for roads and bridges under a plan unveiled Thursday by Senate Republicans.

It’s a one-time proposal, not a long-term solution.

The state, when distributing local income tax money, withholds some and puts it in reserve. Local communities only get money from that reserve if the balance goes over 50 percent of annual collections.

The balance is currently around 25 percent, but Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek, says he wants to give locals that money, about $418 million, for roads.

“The amount of money that we’re talking about in this distribution is not a Band-Aid. I think you’re looking at a multi-year investment,” Hershman says.

Gov. Mike Pence, who previously proposed a $1 billion roads plan that included no local funding, says his office worked with Hershman on the GOP Senator’s plan.

“We’ll be adding that to our administration’s legislative agenda and putting our full weight behind it,” Pence says.

Seventy-five percent of the money would have to be used for roads; the other 25 percent could be used for whatever the local communities want. The funding would be released next year – if the bill passes.

The Indiana Democratic Party calls Hershman’s plan the “bare minimum” and a “short-term option.”

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