Plan To Fully Fund Regional Cities Winners Sails Through Senate Committee

Jan 22, 2016

Credit Nic McPhee / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee

A bill to fully fund all three winners of the Regional Cities Initiative breezed through the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday.

The Regional Cities Initiative money comes from the 2015 tax amnesty program, and all $84 million was originally meant to be split between two regions.  This economic development program aims to encourage cooperation across city and county lines. 

The plan was to split the award in half, giving $42 million to each winner.  But the Indiana Economic Development Corporation Board chose three winners -- and Governor Mike Pence wants the legislature to give all three winners a full $42 million award.  IEDC Vice President Eric Shields says the initiative is worth the investment.

“So just in the last month we’ve heard of national developers looking at some of these regions already,” Shields says.

The tax amnesty program brought in much more than the $84 million originally set aside for Regional Cities.  And bill author Senate Appropriations Chair Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) says the Senate strongly supports the program. 

The committee unanimously approved the bill Thursday, sending it to the floor.