INDIANAPOLIS - Gov. Mike Pence signed the mass transit bill into law Wednesday afternoon.
The bill calls for a November referendum in Marion County and five other counties to approve expanded mass transit. Voters would have to approve a tax increase to expand bus service and the bill does not allow light rail service.
Pence released the following statement:
"I have signed SEA 176 into law to give the people of Central Indiana the opportunity to decide on the future of mass transit in the greater Indianapolis area.
Our capital city is a world class destination and needs a world class transit system. While I still have reservations about the sustainability of expanded mass transit services, I signed this bill because the General Assembly made significant improvements during the legislative process, bringing to closure years of debate on this issue. The final version contains no new, local corporate tax, which would have reduced our state’s overall competitiveness, and it contains no light rail, which would have greatly increased the cost to taxpayers in the long term.
I am a firm believer in local control and the collective wisdom of the people of Indiana. Decisions on economic development and quality of life are best made at the local level. Whether local business tax reform or mass transit, I trust local leaders and residents to make the right decisions for their communities. That, along with the improvements made to the bill, is why I have signed SEA 176 into law. Now the people of Central Indiana can decide."