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GOP bill would spend $400M on highway projects

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The state’s highway program would get a $400 million infusion of cash to widen key interstates if a bill debated in the House Ways and Means Committee becomes law.

The money would come from a savings account the General Assembly created just last year for major highway projects.

Ways and Means Chairman Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, said the money should be used now, as opposed to later.

“You have to start getting this money out the door,” said Brown, who is the author of House Bill 1002.

The bill would give the State Budget Committee the authority to transfer $400 million from the Major Moves Trust Fund to the state’s main highway fund.

State highway commissioner Karl Browning said there are 22 projects that need to be done today but financial constraints only allow for the most critical to be completed. The money transferred from the Major Moves fund would allow the Indiana Department of Transportation to undertake as many as 12 of those 22 projects.

Browning calls the bill a “no lose proposition” and was adamant in his support.

A number of representatives from various Indiana construction firms testified along with Browning in support of the bill.

But some lawmakers questioned why the money wouldn’t be used for local construction projects as well.

The chairman postponed a vote on the bill so members could consider changes.

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  • Start your own highway company
    "Since all of the commenters to date sound in favor of mass transit, why don’t you pool your resources and start such a company and quit complaining? Do something yourself instead of just picking apart the decisions of others." If you want more highways, why not start your own highway company, and build your own? Oh, and be sure to purchase the right-of-way only from willing sellers.
  • L-O-L
    "Since all of the commenters to date sound in favor of mass transit, why don’t you pool your resources and start such a company and quit complaining? Do something yourself instead of just picking apart the decisions of others. It doesn’t take much effort to complain but it takes a lot of effort to fulfill the needs of others. If there was such a need, and there was enough support for mass transit, that a business would already exist to provide the service. Since it doesn't seem to, make it so." Maybe one of the most dim-witted posts I've ever read in my life. Yeah, start your own mass transit company, because if the market demands it, someone would have by now... Yeah, like.... ummmmmmmm.... the highways that we pour massive subsidies into? Gooooooot ya...
  • Also
    If I DID start my own mass-transit company, how could I possibly compete with taxpayer-subsidized infrastructure for vehicles? I guess what I'm saying is I've thought about your proposition and concluded it makes absolutely no sense.
  • Uhh...
    bda1205, "picking apart the decisions of others" is the responsibility of voters, instead of blindly following (oftentimes contractor-backed) politicians who don't do what's best for the people. As for starting my own company, I will stick to what I do best and instead ask my lawmakers to use the resources at their disposal to do theirs; thats why we have the division of labor. I don't always enjoy my experience traveling, but I'm not going to start my own airline. That would be silly.
  • So start your own mass transit company
    Since all of the commenters to date sound in favor of mass transit, why don’t you pool your resources and start such a company and quit complaining? Do something yourself instead of just picking apart the decisions of others. It doesn’t take much effort to complain but it takes a lot of effort to fulfill the needs of others. If there was such a need, and there was enough support for mass transit, that a business would already exist to provide the service. Since it doesn't seem to, make it so.
  • And there's the why
    "A number of representatives from various Indiana construction firms testified along with Browning in support of the bill."
  • YAY!!! MORE ROADS!!!
    WOOHOO!!! More money for roads and no money for mass transit. As they say...."Indiana, the land of wide roads and narrow minds"
  • Sigh
    I'll go ahead and say it: don't people know by now that you can't just widen your way out of congestion? Here's another $400 million down the drain when we supposedly "have no money" for public transit or alternative transportation. Building highways creates massive and well-documented negative externalities, and yet we still persist. And we can't even take care of the roads we already have! Shaking my head over here.
  • Magical Money Tree
    We never cease to create money to fund those in the road industry that helped a politician get elected. Who testified in support again? The best part is that we created some secret "savings" account to add more lane miles to take care of.........how are the existing roads doing?
  • Priorities
    "Want to discriminate against tax-paying citizens in the name of an imaginary deity?" Legislature: "Sure!" "Would you like more pavement with that?" Legislature: "Sure!"

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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