INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 1, 2017) — With Governor Eric Holcomb signing important pieces of legislation into law last week, members of the Indiana Corn Growers Association and Indiana Soybean Alliance are celebrating a new long-term road funding plan.
The governor signed House Enrolled Act 1002, which will raise $1.2 billion annually for roads and bridges by 2024, as well as the two-year budget that includes additional funding for projects at Purdue University and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.
The corn and soybean policy organizations worked cooperatively with various partners to advocate for a long-term, workable road funding plan that provides funds to local governments to not only fix, but to maintain roads and bridges critical to Indiana’s rural economies.
“Our organizations were able to use information from a checkoff-funded study to define the needs of rural Indiana roads and bridges, as well as the funding gap,” said Anngie Steinbarger, chair of ISA’s policy committee and a farmer from Shelby County. “This gave lawmakers real data and numbers to work with while crafting this legislation.”
The study, researched by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, addressed the funding needed to repair Indiana’s rural roads to an acceptable level — a need totaling nearly $6.4 billion over the next 20 years. That level of funding is nearly triple the state’s current financial reserves and quadruple the amount of new money legislators injected into road funding during the 2016 General Assembly.
“Having data like this allowed us to evaluate the situation so we knew the real cost of fixing the problem and could share that with our elected officials,” noted Mike Nichols, ICGA president and farmer from Spencer County. “It was important to us to also share with them that the impact of crumbling roads and deficient bridges is felt, not only by our corn and soybean farmers, but also on all rural businesses and residents.”
The Indiana Soybean Alliance works to enhance the viability of Indiana soybean farmers through the effective and efficient investment of soybean checkoff funds and the development of sound policies that protect and promote the interest of Indiana soybean farmers. The ISA is working to build new markets for soybeans through the promotion of biodiesel, livestock, international marketing, new soybean uses, aquaculture, and research. ISA is led by an elected farmer board that directs investments of the soybean checkoff funds on behalf of more than 28,000 Indiana soybean farmers and promotes policies on behalf of the ISA’s 950 dues-paying members. For more information, visit www.indianasoybean.com.
The ICGA board, which works with the state and federal governments to develop and promote sound policies that benefit Indiana corn farmers, consists of 15 farmer-directors who provide leadership to the organization on behalf of the nearly 600 ICGA members statewide. Learn more at www.incorn.org/icga.
This communications was NOT funded with Indiana soybean or corn checkoff dollars.