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Lawmakers Concerned About Holcomb’s Unilateral Move On Toll Road Lease

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Government, Politics, Statewide News, Transportation
Office of Management and Budget Director Micah Vincent, left, and Indiana Finance Authority COO Jim McGoff discuss the Toll Road lease at the State Budget Commitee. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Office of Management and Budget Director Micah Vincent, left, and Indiana Finance Authority COO Jim McGoff discuss the Toll Road lease at the State Budget Commitee. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Lawmakers expressed frustration Tuesday at Gov. Eric Holcomb’s unilateral renegotiation of the Indiana Toll Road lease.

A Republican leader says the General Assembly will look at ways to ensure it has input in the future.

The new Toll Road lease will generate $1 billion for the state over the next two years. The money will come from increased tolls on trucks. And it will pay for major road projects, rural broadband, trails, and direct international flights.

Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) wonders why the legislature wasn’t even consulted.

“We were major players at one point, as a General Assembly, and it seems like we’re not now,” Porter says.

The Holcomb administration notes state law allows the governor to renegotiate the lease on his own.

Sen. Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen) says that can change.

“I feel there has to some legislative oversight on this lease agreement,” Mishler says. “I don’t think we can just keep opening it up and then finding out about it.”

Mishler says lawmakers will also likely scrutinize how the Holcomb administration will spend the new $1 billion.