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Senate adds $42 million to Regional Cities

February 3rd, 2016

News Coverage:

February 2, 2016

Senate adds $42 million to Regional Cities

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Senate voted 35-15 Monday to funnel an additional $42 million to Gov. Mike Pence’s Regional Cities program.

The legislature approved $84 million last year to award to two regions that collaborated on a regional plan to attract talent to the areas.

But the Indiana Economic Development Corp. instead awarded three regions the money, including northeast Indiana. 

Senate Bill 302 provides the remaining dollars from revenue raised from a tax amnesty program last year.

Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, said she doesn’t object to any projects but that the IEDC didn’t do what the legislature told it to.

“I don’t think that’s the proper way we should be doing business here,” she said.

Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Nobles­ville, agreed the bill has an appropriation in a non-budget year but said it is a special circumstance using one-time money.

The bill also gives any excess amnesty dollars to capital projects for Indiana’s bicentennial.

Two area senators voted against the bill – Sen. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City, and Sen. Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne. The bill now moves to the House.