STATEHOUSE (April 4, 2017) – The Indiana House of Representatives today approved State Rep. Mike Braun (R-Jasper) and State Sen. Mark Messmer’s (R-Jasper) bill to foster regional infrastructure development in Indiana.
Senate Bill 128 allows Indiana counties or municipalities participating in a Regional Development Authority to create a fund specifically for regional infrastructure projects. These projects could include highway or bridge repairs, rail lines, airports, commuter transportation and other critical improvements.
“A recent study conducted by Purdue University estimates that local governments need $775 million annually over the next decade to maintain their current infrastructure,” Braun said. “This session, House and Senate lawmakers are working together to find long-term road and bridge funding solutions for Indiana. This bill would give local and regional areas additional tools to help fund their infrastructure projects. By providing new ways for local governments to pay for these projects, legislators can continue to encourage economic development while working to improve the quality of roads and bridges in areas that desperately need it.”
Under the bill, RDAs would be able to apply for FASTLANE federal grants, which fund road and bridge projects across the country. Local governments could also transfer money out of their general or rainy day funds to support regional infrastructure development. Braun said the proposal would allow a RDA to enter into an agreement with the Indiana Department of Transportation to contribute local matching funds to pay for these projects.
“Funding Indiana’s roads is one of the top priorities for lawmakers this session,” Messmer said. “While state infrastructure funding has been discussed the most, it is also important to provide local communities with the tools they need for road projects. Giving local communities the power to pool their resources to apply for these grants will help spur local infrastructure projects, boosting economic development.”
Messmer said this bill could help jumpstart the Midstate Corridor project through Dubois, Martin and Spencer counties. The Midstate Corridor is a planned interstate-grade highway connecting Interstate 64 to Interstate 69.
For more information about Senate Bill 128, visit www.in.gov/iga.
State Rep. Mike Braun (R-Jasper) represents House District 63, which
includes portions of Daviess, Dubois, Pike and Martin counties.
A high-resolution photo of Braun can be downloaded by clicking here.
A high-resolution photo of State Sen. Mark Messmer is available by clicking here.