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Budget committee set to hear governor’s plans for school, highway funding

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INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 7, 2015) – With this year’s legislative session now underway, the state budget committee will meet Thursday to review the governor’s budget proposal and his plan to release an additional $200 million in highway funds.

Gov. Mike Pence is requesting the additional funding, set aside for the “Major Moves 2020” highway construction fund.

The money will pay for five projects across the state, including:

  • I-65 from State Road 44 near Franklin to Main Street in Greenwood
  • I-65 from Sellersburg (Exit 9) to Memphis (Exit 16) in Clark County
  • I-69 from State Road 37 in Fishers to Southeastern/Campus Parkway (Exit 210) in Hamilton County
  • I-65 from Main Street in Greenwood to Southport Road in Indianapolis
  • I-65 in the Lafayette area from State Road 38 to State Road 25

“When we call ourselves the Crossroads of America, we need to have the roads to back it up,” said Governor Pence in a written statement Tuesday. “Projected revenue reports show good overall financial health for the state, and I am confident (the money) can be invested in a fiscally responsible way to put Hoosiers to work on Indiana’s infrastructure.”

INDOT officials said the highway expansion projects were needed to accommodate growth, particularly in the Fishers area along I-69.

“There continues to be a lot of traffic even though improvements have been made in recent years,” said INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield. “(We) have seen more and more traffic and lanes need to be expanded and the pavement needs to be replaced.”

Thursday morning, the state budget committee was also scheduled to hear the governor’s proposal for the entire state budget. Lawmakers and the governor have said education would be a key priority during this year’s budget-writing session, with proposals likely to focus on the state’s school funding formula.

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