Indiana lawmakers scrambling to fund several bicentennial construction projects
Vice President Mike Pence has a new home and office in Washington D.C. But back in his home state of Indiana, lawmakers are struggling to find money for several construction projects he initiated while he was the Hoosier state’s Governor.
Lawmakers say Pence initiated these projects without a solid financing plan.
The price tag on these plans is an estimated $53.5 million.
Pence sought these new projects as a part of the state’s 200th birthday celebration last year. They included a brand new $2 million dollar Bicentennial Plaza at the Indiana statehouse, a $2.5 million dollar education center at the State Library, a $25 million dollar state archives building and a $24 million dollar inn at Potato Creek State Park in Saint Joseph County.
Lawmakers granted Pence permission to spend taxpayer money on the projects after he assured them that he would pay for them by leasing space on Indiana’s 340 state-owned cell towers. But, that deal has yet to be made.
A spokeswoman for governor Holcomb says the projects are done, but they need to be paid for.
Holcomb is trying to find a way to fill the gaps in funding. He’s asking lawmakers in the state house to change the funding for the projects to the state’s general fund so it won’t affect the budget.
Vice President Pence hasn’t released a statement yet on the issue.