Although the Indiana General Assembly will not convene until next year, a task force is actively working this summer on future ways to fund Indiana’s road improvements.
The “Funding Indiana’s Roads for a Stronger, Safer Tomorrow” group was formed by the legislature while discussing House Bill 1001 this year. According to task force Co-Chair Tim Brown, plenty of legislators did not feel they had adequate resources to understand the issue.
“We’re going to look at where we are right now,” says Brown. “What does the state of Indiana do right now? How do we finance roads right now? And what does that look like in our future?”
Indiana spent down millions in reserve funds this year on distributions for road funding – which has provided one time disbursements, but has also established an application and planning process for grant opportunities to further fund road improvements.
Among the goals of the Indiana General Assembly in 2016 was to find a short-term solution to the state’s road funding woes. The task force, however, has been working to develop a long-term plan to better fund infrastructure in the state.
Brown says understanding the needs of the state are also crucial.
“We’re going to look at other states,” says Brown. “We’re going to have some national experts come in and say how other states do it. Do they use general money? Do they just use gas tax money? Or what do other states use as mechanisms?”
Long-term plans are considered 20 to 25 years out from this year.
The task force is expected to make its recommendations in December with formal action on a long-term funding plan expected during the 2017 general assembly.