Washington, D.C. —U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly voted against the Senate’s six-year Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill because it would not provide Indiana with its fair share of federal highway funding.
Donnelly said, “There are pressing needs to repair Indiana roads and bridges and ensure that transit systems continue to run safely and efficiently. Without question, the best solution is a long-term reauthorization of federal highway and transit programs, but it must be done in a way that is fair for Indiana and all states. I have worked to make sure that previous infrastructure bills have been based on a principle of ensuring a fair return for every state. This bill, however, would undermine that principle, and would result in Hoosiers missing out on hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure investments over the next six years. As a result, I could not support this bill. I will continue to fight for the best interests of Hoosiers so that Indiana gets its fair share in federal highway funding.”
Donnelly introduced a bipartisan amendment to the highway bill on Sunday with Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) that sought to fix funding of federal highway programs so that every state would receive a fair percentage of total funding, equal to at least 95% of a state’s portion of the contributions to the Highway Trust Fund. In the Senate bill, Indiana would only receive highway funding at a rate of return of approximately 91% of the share the state contributes to the Highway Trust Fund, instead of the current principle of states getting a 95% rate of return. That difference would shortchange Indiana an estimated $280 million in highway funding over the next six years.
Because the Senate did not take up amendments to the six-year Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill the Donnelly-Flake provision was not considered.