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General Assembly Fully Funds Regional Cities Initiative

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Gov. Mike Pence’s Regional Cities Initiative will get all the money Pence requested.

Lawmakers identified a funding source that won’t take dollars out of the General Fund.

The governor’s Regional Cities Initiative is aimed at fostering greater collaboration in economic development and community improvement around the state.

Pence asked for $84 million over the next two years, but House and Senate budget proposals only set aside $20 million. But as the General Assembly prepares the budget for final passage Wednesday, Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, says lawmakers have come around on the issue.

“I think the governor’s going to be pleased with the regional funding and we’ve avoided the General Fund and raiding dedicated funds,” Bosma says.

The budget will fully fund the governor’s initiative – $84 million dollars – by implementing a tax amnesty program. That will allow Hoosier businesses and individuals who owe back taxes to pay them without a penalty. Bosma says he expects the amnesty program to provide more than what’s needed for the Regional Cities program.  

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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