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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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