INDIANAPOLIS — A bill that could have threatened future funding for mass transit in Indianapolis is dead for the current legislative session, though portions of it could possibly be brought back before lawmakers adjourn.
The bill (SB 141) had already passed the state Senate and received a hearing in March in the House Roads and Transportation Committee. But that committee does not have another meeting scheduled this week, and bills must be passed out of committee no later than Thursday to remain alive during the session.
The legislation targeted a large portion of IndyGo’s funding, specifically saying that a rule would be enforced on how Marion County’s transit system could use taxpayer-funded sources. It would require Indygo to raise 10% of the operational costs of new projects — such as the proposed Purple and Blue rapid transit lines — from sources other than taxes and fares.
The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Aaron Freeman (R, Indianapolis), said that state and federal money designated for transit projects should be counted as “taxes” in that formula. The rule was part of a measure passed in 2014 that allowed Marion County to hold a referendum in 2016 that led to a local income tax increase to fund an expansion in public transportation.
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