INDIANAPOLIS – House Bill (HB) 1144 was approved unanimously by the Senate on Thursday. This bill is a huge win for Northwest Indiana, as it paves the way for transit development of the entire South Shore Line, from Illinois to South Bend.

HB 1144, authored by Representative Harold Slager and sponsored by Senators Tallian, Melton, Niezgodski and Randolph, would permit the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority to establish transit development districts within the Northwest Indiana corridor, including the new double track project in Porter County and Michigan City. This would connect more Hoosiers to high-paying jobs in Chicago in a significantly shorter time.

“This will be transformative for Northwest Indiana,” State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) said. “Our rail line has been transporting people for over 100 years. We must continue to maintain and upgrade our line for future generations.”

Senator Tallian made two amendments in the Senate, fine-tuning the bill to ensure that the mechanics worked properly for both the Regional Development Authority counties (Lake and Porter) and for the non-member counties of LaPorte and St. Joe.

“I am happy to see this pass out of the Senate,” Sen. Tallian said. “I anticipate its success in bettering the lives of the hard working people of Northwest Indiana.”



Sen. Tallian represents Senate District 4 which encompasses portions of northern Porter County as well as portions of Michigan, Coolspring and New Durham townships in LaPorte County. For more information on Sen. Tallian, her legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit

NOTE: A photo of Sen. Karen Tallian can be downloaded at