ANDERSON – Despite efforts by three Madison County lawmakers, the Indiana General Assembly didn’t provide funding for the improvement of local roads.
Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson; Rep. Terri Austin, D-36th District; and Rep. Jack Lutz, R-35th District, took part in the final Third House session Monday at the Anderson Public Library. It was sponsored by the Madison County Chamber of Commerce and Anderson League of Women Voters.
Austin said lawmakers approved $200 million in funding for improvements to state highways and possibly an additional $200 million.
“There was none for local communities,” she said. “We need to look at how are we going to pay for infrastructure improvements without raising taxes.”
Lanane said there was a proposal to provide $25 million in matching funds for local units of government to make improvements to streets and roads.
“We should have allowed the $25 million,” he said.
Lanane said some of the funds have been earmarked for making Interstate 69 three lanes from just north of exit 210 in Hamilton County to exit 214 in Madison County.
Lutz said the Indiana State Budget Committee will decide how the $200 million will be spent by the state and it could bring the state $1.7 billion in federal matching funds.
“Local funding got stalled in the Senate and by the administration,” he said.
Lutz said Republicans in the Indiana House and Republicans and Democrats in the Indiana House and Senate fought hard for local road funding.
General Assembly reform
Austin and Lanane said they hope the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly looks at reforming how the Legislature operates.
This Thursday the Indiana House Ethics Commission is set to hear a complaint filed against Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, over comments made during a caucus meeting of House Republicans to defeat legislation to place a moratorium on nursing home construction.