[r82] Rep. Espich Says Amendment is a Victory For Local Government (2/5/2009)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

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

(STATEHOUSE) Feb 5, 2009 - An amendment that will help area families with job creation and retention programs passed the Indiana House of Representatives today by a 99-0 vote.

House Republicans successfully amended HB 1656 to send money to local units of government for local road projects. Under this amendment local governments receive $500 Million to put toward road construction and repair projects.

"The pool of cash we have created gives local governments the means and the flexibility to improve their roads in whatever manner they see fit," said Rep. Espich (R - Uniondale). "Through our amendment, House Bill 1656 will preserve major moves funding for crucial state roads and bolster local government's ability to complete smaller local projects."

House Bill 1656, in original form, would have taken Major Moves money and reallocated those funds to specified pork-barrel projects.  This risked the loss of $700 million in federal highway funding, jeopardized thousands of Hoosier jobs and demolished important highway construction and improvement projects expected to boost local economies. 

The amendment's unanimous approval was arguably the most notable display of bipartisan cooperation at this stage of the 2009 session.