INDIANAPOLIS –Today the Indiana Senate passed House Bill (HB) 1002, a long-term road funding bill. State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) supported the measure on the floor, as it passed out of the Senate.

“The bill approved today significantly differs from the language that came from the House. Although, not perfect, I supported the measure, as this is the only vehicle that exists this session to improve our infrastructure.

“I am confident, because of these differences, this bill will end up in a conference committee where a final version can be agreed upon by members of the House and Senate. I anticipate that I will be at the table as a conferee, to monitor the changes being made to the bill.

“Still, serious issues persist in HB 1002. I do not believe that the current bill adequately addresses many of my concerns: jobs, tax fairness, and raising wages.

“This could be an ‘Indiana Jobs’ bill, but there are no provisions to require infrastructure projects to use Indiana businesses with Indiana employees. Second, tax fairness is not addressed in this version of the bill. At the same time the state is reducing taxes on corporations and financial institutions, we are asking working Hoosiers to pay higher taxes. Lastly, if we are increasing a tax on almost everyone, I believe we could at least considering raising the minimum wage.

“This was a difficult vote, but I truly believe that now is the time to take politics out of this issue and find long-term, viable solutions for our state and local infrastructure.”