STATEHOUSE (March 13, 2014) — Hoosier communities with military bases would receive expanded support under legislation authored by State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City). Senate Bill 260 cleared its final passage in the Senate today and moves to the governor’s desk where it could be signed into law.
SB 260 would allow local units of government to use funds to sponsor 1) active in-state military bases; 2) a military base’s facilities that are scheduled for closing or are completely or partially closed; and 3) other entities that provide direct support to these bases or facilities.
Under the legislation, local revenue could be used to provide support for a military base’s promotion, growth or activities. This could include constructing roads, buildings and other infrastructure as a way to sustain the base.
Banks said he authored the bill in anticipation of military bases’ possible closure or realignment in the future. He used the example of Fort Wayne’s 122nd Fighter Wing of the Indiana Air National Guard, which the community has rallied to retain.
“The 122nd Fighter Wing produces an estimated $58 million in economic development, which includes jobs for the Allen County region,” Banks said. “This legislation gives Hoosier communities like Fort Wayne the resources they need to keep these important assets local. I’m hopeful that with this advancement, more areas of our state will have the option of financially backing a resource that’s important to its residents.”