Summary of surface transport bill listening session from Indy

Today, I had the luck of squeezing my way into the listening session for the transportation surface bill in Indianapolis. I say luck because the seats were spoken for 4 days ago. I stood the entire time, and had to hang around after a bailiff told the couple dozen people standing outside to please leave. Frankly, I was frustrated from the start.A staffer even asked me not to take photos since I wasn’t “with anyone” who had previously obtained permission to take photos. That guy can eat it, here is my photo.

The meeting started with Chairman Mica talking about how the past couple days of working and generally patting himself and fellow house representatives on their backs. The meeting was informal in nature and was well attended by the usual suspects in the Indianapolis area. Mayor Ballard was seated at the table with Mica as well as Todd Rokita and Congressman Buschon (R-IN); along with INDOT commissioner, an engineer with the I-69 program and some other “connected” folks who represented road building interests.  Some MPO officials as well as the CEO of IndyGO, Mike Terry were present with IndyCOG and Health by Design also represented in the crowd observing the session.

The meeting flowed with the panel at the front of the room starting things off. Then two republican representatives from Indiana attended as well as the commissioner of INDOT. Some other not so familiar faces were seated around the main table as well. As the meeting wore on, it became apparent that all these gentlemen chosen to testify were connected with “road interests” a trucking lobbyist spoke.