INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – We should be hours away from learning how Indiana lawmakers plan to tackle cold beer sales, and fix roads.
On Wednesday, House Speaker Brian Bosma said deals are close to being released to the public as they look to adjourn by the end of the week. “It may not be completed by the end of the solar day on Friday, and we might look at the solar day of Saturday,” House Speaker Bosma said.
Up first, should be the road plan. A proposal House Speaker Bosma said they’ve spent hours debating. “Many of us were here until after 11 o’clock, trying to hammer out these major road issues, and we found common ground,” House Speaker Bosma said.
INDOT said it needs a billion dollars a year, for the next 20 years, to fix roads and bridges. To get there, Republicans want to increase the price at the pump, and add fees.
The Senate wants to toll. The House wants to shift the gas sales tax to fully fix roads.
House Speaker Bosma won’t say what the final plan is, but it appears the gas tax shift will happen in upwards of seven years, not right away. “We knew when the Senate was not willing to fill the gap in the general fund, or Medicaid funding, created by the transfer of the sales tax, that it was going to have to be over time,” House Speaker Bosma said.
We also learned new details about the cold beer bill Wednesday. A proposal drafted after Ricker’s gas station got a license to sell cold beer this year.
In order to have cold beer carryout, a business might need to make 60 percent of its profits from people drinking at the business. A percentage Ricker’s said it can’t meet, but now it appears other businesses may not have to. “If they have a permit today that was received before November of last year, they’re exempt from any new carryout requirement,” House Speaker Bosma said.
We should be able to feast on the information soon. Lawmakers have a 24 hour rule.
This means, if the road, budget, or cold beer plan is released tomorrow, lawmakers can’t vote until Friday. The plan is to adjourn Friday. But things could still stretch until this weekend.