STATEHOUSE (March 28, 2017) – State Sens. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield), Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) and Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek) released the following statements today on House Bill 1002, which was amended to include the Senate Republicans’ road-funding plan and passed out of the Senate Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy:
“State lawmakers have a responsibility to the public to address our road-funding needs head-on,” said State Sen. Michael Crider, chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Transportation and sponsor of HB 1002. “The cost of reconstruction is over 10 times more expensive than a strategy of early and often preservation. We owe it to Hoosiers to get a plan in place now that will meet our infrastructure needs for years to come.”
State Sen. Luke Kenley, chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and the bill’s co-sponsor, said lawmakers spent last summer and fall on a fact-finding mission to determine what Indiana’s transportation infrastructure needs are. Experts from Indiana and across the country presented available funding options in Funding Indiana’s Roads for a Stronger, Safer Tomorrow (FIRSST) Task Force meetings.
“Findings from our FIRSST Task Force meetings helped my fellow lawmakers and I decide to focus our road-funding discussions around a user-fees approach,” Kenley said. “Under this approach, those who use the roads the most will pay the most, but also get the most benefit. Gas taxes alone are not enough to fund our roads, in large part due to increased fuel efficiency, but also because Indiana has not increased the gas tax since 2003 or the special fuel tax since 1988. Indiana needs a modernized, sustainable plan that will fund our roads for future generations.”
State Sen. Brandt Hershman, chair of the Senate Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy, said Indiana’s road-funding need is so substantial the state can’t simply make cuts in the budget to make up the difference.
“Under conservative leadership, Indiana has reduced the number of state employees to the lowest number since 1982, has the 10th-lowest per-capita spending in the nation, and has been named best state government in the country,” Hershman said. “Our budget is lean and taxpayer-friendly. Because of this, we cannot just make cuts elsewhere to fund this need. Our plan will spread the responsibility of paying for roads among all drivers using our roads, including heavy trucks, which put significant wear and tear on our infrastructure.”
HB 1002 passed out of the committee by a vote of 11-2 and will now be considered by the full Senate.
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Contact: Molly Swigart, Press Secretary