The bill provides jobs for Hoosiers in a wide range of endeavors, allows local governments to improve streets, roads and highways in their areas, protects important Major Moves projects and gives unemployed Hoosiers educational opportunities than can brighten their futures.
"We need jobs now, and that's what this bill will give us," said Rep. Borders. "I'm proud of the way we came together again today. I hope it's a pattern that continues in the future - especially with permanent property tax caps. The caps are a promise we made to property owners last year. It's a promise we should keep."
The bill passed 88-11.
Here is a brief recap of the bill's highlights:
The Republican amendment protects Major Moves projects and their economic potential.
· The Republican plan retains all existing funding for Major Moves projects, preserving funding for U.S. 31, the Hoosier Heartland Highway, Interstate 69 South, the Fort to Port project and dozens of other scheduled projects.
The plan provides money for local road projects.
· In fiscal years 2009 and 2010, municipalities and county governments would receive a total of $500 million for road construction, maintenance and repair from the newly established Local Road Special Projects Fund.
· $250 million in federal highway funding would be placed in the fund from these existing state funds: Surface Transportation Fund, Bridge Fund Equity Bonus Fund.
· $250 million in money generated through the federal stimulus bill would also be placed in the special projects fund.
The plan creates a Community Infrastructure Assistance Program.
· As the federal stimulus road dollars contain aggressive timeline restrictions, and the Special Projects Fund also contains timeline restrictions placing difficult challenges before local communities, the State would establish a $20M Community Infrastructure Assistance Fund from unallocated stabilization fund monies to assist local units with technical and engineering expertise to qualify and utilize the federal stimulus money and the Special Project Fund.
The plan creates Adult Workforce Retraining Grants.
· Indiana residents who have lost their jobs in the past year due to reductions in the workforce would be eligible for the Adult Workforce Retraining Grants administered by the Department of Workforce Development.
· Out-of-work Hoosiers would be eligible to receive a $3,000-per-year grant for two years to be used at any two- or four-year year institution of higher learning.
The plan provides for higher-education construction.
· Under the federal stimulus bill, Indiana will receive money from the Higher Education Modernization, Renovation and Repair Fund. House Republicans believe this money should be utilized immediately to put Hoosier tradesmen to work on needed higher-education projects.
Rep. Borders encourages constituents to contact him with questions or comments. He can be reached by e-mail at h45@IN.gov, by phone at 1-800-382-9841 or by mail at the Statehouse, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.