Compromise between lawmakers, IndyGo in the works, House Speaker Brian Bosma says

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Posted at 1:08 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 13:12:05-05

INDIANAPOLIS — At least one member of the Indiana House of Representatives is working on a compromise with IndyGo to allow the transit organization time to comply with the 10% law, Speaker Brian Bosma said Thursday.

“I believe the new leadership at IndyGo – they need to have time to comply with the law, which they agree was not complied with to this point and give them some time to make that happen,” Bosma said Thursday.

He said Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, is working on a compromise. The compromise, Bosma said, would give IndyGo more time and benchmarks to raise the 10%.

The Senate has not agreed to the compromise yet.

“I think that’s fair ground,” Bosma said. “I don’t disagree with the acknowledgement and the citation by Senator Freeman and others that this portion of the statute was not addressed properly, but we need to give them a little time to make it happen.”

Bosma did dismiss protests from people who say the state is interfering with the will of Marion County residents who voted in favor of the transit referendum in 2016.

“This was a state-authorized statute, not a local ordinance, that put all this in place with the referendum,” he said. “The state statute required a 10% private match that has been disregarded. I don’t think that’s a valid response. I think it’s actually the city council and IndyGo officials [who] have not complied with the statute, so if there’s fault someplace, it probably lies there.”

Last week, members of the Indiana Senate surprised IndyGo with an amendment that could halt production on the organization’s June routing changes, as well as the next two rapid transit lines, the Blue Line and Purple Line.

It all hinges on a 2015 law that stated IndyGo needs to raise 10% of public transportation projects using sources other than taxes or fares, meaning private donations. IndyGo has not raised the 10%, which equals between $5 million and $6 million.

The bill would create a penalty for not raising the 10% privately and withhold money from IndyGo. Before Tuesday’s vote on the bill in the Senate, IndyGo and other local organizations sounded the alarm that the bill could put future transit plans in jeopardy.

"We may have to consider how we're going to roll back some of the changes,” IndyGo President Inez Evans said. “We may decide as a board that we cannot afford to roll out the June service plan as originally proposed."

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