Indiana House rejects Airbnb bill in narrow vote

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Gov. Eric Holcomb has signaled that he will sign it.

This session's push to make the position an appointed one follows four years of conflict between Democratic former IN schools chief Glenda Ritz and the state's Republican leaders, including lawmakers and then-Gov.

In making the announcement, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, called the funding agreement "the strongest, absolutely best infrastructure program in our state's history".

The agreement, a major Republican priority, is expected to come up for a vote Friday before lawmakers adjourn for the year.

The plan, which still must go before the full House and Senate for votes, would raise fuel taxes by 10 cents a gallon while charging new registration fees that will cost most drivers $15.

Hybrid and electric vehicle drivers will face $50 and $150 fees, respectively.

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It won't contain a hike in the state's cigarette tax.

In fiscal year 2018, Indiana road funding would increase by $617 million with $357 million going to Indiana Department of Transportation and $260 million to local governments. And it phases in House Republicans' demand to earmark gasoline sales taxes for roads. At the same time they increased the state's reliance on sales tax, which disproportionately impacts poor or working class people.

"It's just money out of our pocket", said Democratic Rep. Dan Forestal, of Indianapolis.

Still, Sen. Luke Kenley, the Senate's chief budget writer, said the roads funding bill puts the state's needs above politics.

"We believe we have met our mutual goals of long term, comprehensive road funding", he said.

"Nobody likes to pay more but I think if they're like me and they've damaged their vehicle on some bad roads, ultimately they're going to be glad they're driving on much better roads", Faulkenberg says. "It could potentially be tolling for some existing lanes in the future if the federal government says so", Bosma said. For now, the bill orders INDOT to draft plans for how tolls might be implemented. But Holcomb has signaled that he isn't itching to do that quite yet.

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