House votes in favor of mass transit plan

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The vote in the Indiana House was 56-to-39 Monday evening in favor of the mass transit bill backed by Mayor Greg Ballard.  The bill is the first step toward a new mass transit system that could someday include a light rail line.

It calls for referendums in Marion and Hamilton Counties on an increase in the local option income tax of .3 percent. 

"Employers will be attracted to the area where they think they can get employees to their jobs," said author Rep. Jerry Torr (R-Carmel,) "because that's a big issue."

"This is a substantial step toward cooperation between a city and its suburbs," said Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis.)

Rep. Mike Speedy (R-Indianapolis) spoke out against the bill. 

"Yes this is a very risky bill," he said, "and frankly for my tax dollars and those in my district it's too risky." 

The bill now goes to the state Senate and an uncertain future.

This is the third attempt to pass a transit bill in the General Assembly and the first time it has passed the House.

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