Now that the interim has begun, I am spending less time at the Statehouse but have still made a few trips back to Indianapolis for meetings and award ceremonies.
Throughout these drives I have become increasingly aware of the toll that this harsh winter has taken on Indiana roads. With the snow subsiding and the sun starting to come out, this is a realization that is being made in every corner of our state.
The subpar conditions of some of our roads can be directly correlated to this harsh winter, while others cannot. Others are simply general wear and tear. However regardless of the cause, as I drive on our state’s highways and experience these problems firsthand, I must ask myself, as a state legislator: Did we do anything this session to help alleviate this problem? Fortunately, the answer to that question is yes, and that particular piece of legislation is one of the most important things we did all session.
With the passage of House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1002, Indiana is transferring up to $400 million in major road funding which will make us eligible for more than $1.6 billion in additional federal funds.
It is important to understand that the state funding in this legislation is simply a transfer of funds that were allocated to the Major Moves 2020 fund in the 2013 budget. This allows Indiana to maintain its fiscal integrity while also providing Hoosier communities with the funding that they need to improve their infrastructure.
To put into perspective just how important this legislation is, investing in infrastructure provides immediate benefits to the state, to local cities and towns and to individual Hoosiers. In order for our state’s economy to reach its highest potential, it is imperative that we have a superior statewide transportation system. Last year alone, over $500 billion in goods traveled on Indiana’s roadways.