[r49] Rep. Culver Votes to Create Jobs and (2/5/2009)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Start Date: 2/5/2009 All Day
End Date: 2/5/2009

STATEHOUSE - Rep. Wes Culver (R-Goshen) and the Indiana House of Representatives voted to create jobs in District 49 and protect state roads projects today when they passed a Republican amendment today for House Bill 1656. The vote was 99-0.

The amendment will provide jobs for Hoosiers, allow local government to improve streets, roads and highways in their areas and protect important state roads projects that will be the basis for longer-range economic development and immediate jobs for Hoosiers.

 "The bipartisan vote today showed Hoosiers that we not only understand the need to create jobs and protect the jobs that are currently available, but that we understand the urgency that's required to help stimulate the economy during these difficult times," said Rep. Culver.

The plan protects many state roads projects and their economic potential:

  • The Republican plan retains all existing funding for state roads 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 for a total of $500 million over the biennium available to Indiana cities, towns and counties for local road projects.

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 $20 million 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. 

-30-

For questions or comments regarding this session, Rep. Culver can be reached by e-mail at h49@IN.gov, by phone at 1-800-382-9841 or by mail at the Statehouse, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.