As Indiana Senators prepare to debate a sustainable, long-term infrastructure funding plan that would create $1.2 billion in annual revenue, Local 150 has launched a new commercial as part of a campaign to support new funding.
Indiana’s House of Representatives approved the plan on February 16th by a vote of 61-36, and Senate will now consider it. Some in the House opted to support an alternate plan that relied11 on borrowing to fund a short-term “band-aid,” but that approach is what has led to the current unsafe conditions on so many roads and bridges in Indiana.
The plan would increase gasoline and diesel taxes by 10 cents per gallon and increase them to inflation, the first adjustment since 2003. In addition, the plan calls for a registration fee increase of $15, a $150 fee for electric vehicles (which currently pay no gas tax) and a shift of the sales tax on gasoline from the general revenue fund into the road fund.
After the 2015 collapse of the I-65 Bridge over Wildcat Creek, which led to two fatal accidents on a dangerous detour, Local 150 has advocated a long-term solution to avoid future tragedies. “Economies rely upon infrastructure, and infrastructure investments cost money,” said Local 150 President-Business Manager James M. Sweeney. “This is a realistic conversation on how to adequately fund transportation.”
More than 20 Local 150 members were on hand at the announcement in Indianapolis in January, and legislative leaders recognized Local 150 for its support of infrastructure funding. Securing long-term funding for transportation infrastructure remains one of the key elements of Local 150’s legislative agenda.