STATEHOUSE (June 29, 2017) — Gov. Eric Holcomb today ceremonially signed into law two bills sponsored by State Rep. Mike Braun (R-Jasper) that he says will support Indiana’s businesses and boost the state and local economies.
According to a study conducted by Purdue University, local governments need an additional $775 million annually over the next 10 years just to maintain their current infrastructure. Senate Enrolled Act 128 allows Indiana counties or municipalities participating in a Regional Development Authority to create a fund specifically for regional infrastructure projects. These projects can include highway or bridge repairs, rail lines, airports, public transportation and other infrastructure improvements.
“This session, lawmakers passed the largest state and local infrastructure investment in Indiana’s 200-year history,” Braun said. “In addition to the resources allocated to locals in our road funding plan, this law gives regional areas additional tools to help fund their specific infrastructure projects. By providing new ways for local governments and businesses to have skin in the game, we can encourage them to prioritize projects that have a greater local economic impact, while also working to improve the quality of roads and bridges in their areas.”
Sponsored by Braun, this law allows RDAs to apply for FASTLANE federal grants, which fund road and bridge projects across the country. A RDA can also enter into an agreement with the Indiana Department of Transportation to contribute local matching funds to pay for these projects. Braun said pooling local, state and federal resources into regional initiatives should stretch dollars further and complete projects sooner.
Another measure co-sponsored by Braun will help Hoosiers fill the more than 30,000 open positions in our state. Senate Enrolled Act 198 aligns career and technical education programs with current and future employer needs. In addition, this new law establishes Workforce Ready Grants to cover any remaining tuition and fees for students pursuing certification in high-demand, high-wage fields.
“Although Indiana’s unemployment rate is near a record low and well below the national average, we currently have a shortage of highly-trained and skilled workers to fill the positions being created,” Braun said. “In order to continue positioning Hoosier workers and job creators for success, it’s critical we better align education and training with employer needs. This new law provides funding to Hoosiers pursuing certification in certain fields, while also working to streamline the state’s workforce development programs.”
According to Braun, this measure also requires specific and uniform success metrics to measure Indiana’s return-on-investment for its workforce-related programs.
Both laws go into effect July 1. For more information, visit iga.in.gov.
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.