Road funding increase set as 2014 session priority

Posted by: Kelly Sweeney  | Friday, January 10, 2014 8:00 am

STATEHOUSE – Recently, Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) was joined by fellow House Republicans for the unveiling of their 2014 Legislative Agenda. Titled “Indiana: Working on Progress”, the agenda focused on five key concepts to make Indiana a stronger state. Roads and Transportation Committee Chairman Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) and Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) were instrumental in one of those concepts by working on legislation to increase road project funding in order to connect crossroads to communities.

“Last year alone, over half a trillion dollars of goods traveled on Indiana’s transportation system, and roughly 1.7 million full-time jobs, in areas like manufacturing and retail sales, are dependent upon the state’s infrastructure network,” said Rep. Soliday. “Indiana, along with the rest of the nation, is experiencing a steady decline in tax revenue for infrastructure projects due to higher fuel costs, alternative fuel sources and better fuel efficiency. I am pleased that the House Republicans have emphasized the need to address this loss of revenue, and I look forward to working with Chairman Brown on legislation to transfer a portion of the funds allocated in the 2013 budget to increase road project funding.”

In 2008, data gathered through Purdue University’s Local Technical Assistance Program, the Indiana Department of Transportation, along with several reports from other organizations was used to survey 3,100 miles of paved county roads in 8 counties to establish road funding shortfalls for local governments. This survey data was compiled by an independent consultant and was extrapolated to all 92 counties, concluding that the transportation funding shortfall for all local governments was roughly $858M.

Additionally, the Metropolitan Planning Organization Council conducted a similar comprehensive study, deriving at comparable numbers. The Build Indiana Council estimates that driving on roads in need of repair costs Indiana motorists $1.2B a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs.

Reps. Soliday and Brown are planning to introduce legislation that will transfer a portion of the funds allocated in the 2013 budget for the use of increasing road project funding. This legislation will allow dollars already appropriated by the General Assembly to be used for road projects.

“One of the major reasons businesses want to break ground in Indiana and expand their operations here is because of our state’s expansive transportation network,” said Rep. Brown. “All avenues of commerce, whether it be waterways or roadways, have received a significant face lift under recent Republican leadership as funding has increased with Major Moves and other projects that have enabled the state to make sure all means of transportation are available to motorists and industries. I am focused on ensuring that state and local roads and bridges continue to be properly maintained and that we have an eye on the future for connecting crossroads and communities.”

Along with working to increase road project funding, the House Republicans’ Legislative Agenda also included the following items: preparing kids for their careers, stopping burdensome regulations, equipping our workforce and cutting taxes.

More information on the entire agenda can be found at: