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Bill to free $400M for highways passed by House

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A bill to free up $400 million for state highways and assign $25 million of it for local road projects passed the Indiana House of Representatives on Monday.

House Bill 1002, authored by Rep. Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, transfers the balance of the Major Moves 2020 Trust Fund to the state highway fund before July 1, 2015.

The money had been set aside by lawmakers last year for future projects.

But Brown said if the state waited to use the fund, it “could lose 20 [percent] to 28 percent of the purchasing power of that money due to inflation, especially the inflation of the products used to make roads.”

Rep. Ed Soliday, R- Valparaiso, authored an amendment to the bill that would give $25 million of the total for a local infrastructure grant fund.

Local communities could then receive a portion of the fund to undertake road projects, providing they can contribute 10 percent of the total amount requested.

The legislation received support from both parties during House discussion and was passed by a vote of 91-2.

The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

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