Reaction from Indiana political leaders is mixed when it when comes to the Governor’s billion dollar plan to maintain the state’s infrastructure.  We have reaction from various political corners…

House Speaker Brian Bosma

  • “We sincerely appreciate the governor’s recognition that road and bridge funding will be our top priority for this next legislative session. We appreciate the governor’s proposals and will keep his proposals in mind as we work together to address challenges facing infrastructure funding in both the short term and long term.”

Senate President ProTempore David Long

  • As every state in the nation seeks ways to pay for their roads, I’m glad to see our governor proposing ideas here in Indiana that invest in our infrastructure without raising taxes on Hoosiers. The efforts he announced today are consistent with the investments we’ve made in the most recent two state budgets, including $600 million for the Major Moves 2020 Fund and $400 million for local road projects. As we move ahead, Senate Republicans look forward to working with the governor and other stakeholders to ensure that we continue to fully fund our transportation needs.”House Minority Leader Scott Pelath

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath

  • “The sheepish proposal offered today is typical of the way this governor and his brood have handled Indiana’s crises. They hear the cries through the wall, read the poll numbers, and attempt the bare minimum to make them go away.  As you may recall, the governor and his House and Senate supermajorities forgot our roads and bridges were falling apart until the day after the 2015 legislative session was over. They waited until the day after the session was over before they admitted we might have a problem, and they’d set about fixing it sometime in the future.  After a summer of interminable detours and closures,  it turns out we really shouldn’t be waiting. Something needs to be announced now, or at least long enough before  the true start of a gubernatorial campaign where  our governor’s inaction will be made accountable. Of course, there is a certain amount of wonderment here, since the governor and his minions announced just last week that their plan to fix Indiana’s infrastructure was fine.  So what can we expect from this tip-toeing?  Not too much for now, since the 2015 construction season is just about over. There will be no aggressive, Teddy Roosevelt-style ambitions to become a true Crossroads of America. There will not even be an unshackling of local communities to let them solve their own problems.  If you have to navigate local roads and bridges – which are in some places more potholes than pavement – you’ll be left to fend for yourself. This plan is all about bigger projects. It’s a nose job when all the arteries are clogged.  If the street on the way to work remains a Martian surface, things aren’t getting better, are they?  And, of course, we will be relying upon the supermajorities in the House and  Senate to cough up their own solutions. While mired in the RFRA debacle, those are the same supermajorities that defended the status quo at every turn.  In other words, what we are getting today is exactly what we should have expected: Quarter-measures that don’t solve a problem beyond the upcoming campaign season.  Indiana deserves more practical vision than what we got today. This is kicking loose change under the couch.” 

Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane

  • “It’s reassuring that Governor Pence now acknowledges that Indiana’s infrastructure needs attention, but it seems the scope and immediacy of that need continues to elude him.  His proposal is a drop in the bucket when you consider Indiana’s infrastructure situation as a whole.  Even now, the governor makes what he calls a ‘significant’ infrastructure investment with traditional construction season winding down and no new dollars available until July 2016.  We can repave state highways all we want, the fact is the majority of roads in the Hoosier State are maintained by local governments. For every one centerline mile of road the Indiana Department of Transportation maintains, cities, towns and counties maintain nearly nine. For every structurally deficient bridge INDOT must repair, locals have five.  Until we have a comprehensive plan for state and local governments to fund infrastructure in a sustainable way, the governor’s announcement is the equivalent of filling potholes.  For the safety of Hoosier drivers and passengers and for economic growth, the governor is not moving fast enough. The condition of Indiana’s roads and bridges requires action now.”

House Ways & Means Chairman Dr. Tim Brown

  • “We are thankful for the governor’s proposal as we continue evaluating possible funding solutions to address our state’s long-term infrastructure needs. We are concerned about taking on any debt against the state’s ongoing operating expenses. I will continue working with our leadership team to determine the best route for road funding as we move forward.”

Indiana Republican Party Chairman Jeff Cardwell

  • Governor Pence’s leadership on Indiana’s transportation issues is making a real difference for Hoosiers and our economy. Today’s announcement of the governor’s ‘21st-century Crossroads Plan’ is yet another example of the governor’s commitment to building and improving our state’s infrastructure, and will feature $1 billion in additional funding on top of the over $600 million already dedicated for our roads and bridges since Governor Pence took office.  While some in politics invest their money in false attack ads that attempt to mislead Hoosiers, our governor is investing Hoosiers’ money on the critical needs that drive our economy, create jobs, and move our state forward.”

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody

  • “It took a month-long interstate bridge closure, $71 million wasted in faulty asphalt, and a public relations crisis for Governor Pence to finally put his ideology aside and begin tackling one of today’s biggest problems facing our state. However, today’s announcement only achieves the bare minimum that’s needed to maintain Indiana’s D+ rated infrastructure system. With campaign polling showing him ‘in the low 30s’, the governor is making a political reaction to a real problem Hoosiers have known about all along. The sudden change in course shows that when given the choice, the Governor Pence will choose his ideology over the well-being of our state 100% of the time, and these delays hurt our state.”