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Hershman Presents Plan To Fund Local Road, Bridge Upgrades

Robert Carr

Communities across Indiana would receive more than $400 million for road and bridge projects under a plan unveiled Thursday by State Senator Brandt Hershman. 

The Republican from Buck Creek wants to give back to municipalities and counties some of the local income tax dollars the state holds in reserve.

Typically, local governments only get those dollars if the reserve balance exceeds 50 percent of annual collections.

The balance is currently around 25 percent. But Hershman says he wants to give locals that money, about $418 million, for roads.

“The amount of money that we’re talking about in this distribution is not a Band-Aid,” he said. “I think you’re looking at a multi-year investment.”

Governor Mike Pence, who previously proposed a $1 billion infrastructure plan that included no local funds, says his office worked with Hershman on the plan.

“We’ll be adding that to our administration’s legislative agenda and putting our full weight behind it,” he said.

Seventy-five percent of the money would be allocated for roads. The remaining 25 percent could be used for whatever the local communities want. 

The funding would be released next year if the bill passes.

The Indiana Democratic Party calls Hershman’s plan the “bare minimum” and a “short-term option.”

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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