State House of Representatives votes 'no' to save funding for Hoosier State Rail Line

Representative Campbell's amendment was for the full $3 million. It was voted down, 59 nays to 35 yeas.

Posted: Feb. 21, 2019 6:00 PM
Updated: Feb. 21, 2019 6:15 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) - An amendment to the state budget proposed by State Representative Chris Campbell to keep state funding for the Hoosier State Rail Line was voted down in the House of Representatives on Thursday.

In the past, the state has contributed $3 million annually to support the rail line. It also received a combined $500,000 from Lafayette, West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, Rensselaer, and Crawfordsville.

Governor Holcomb's current proposal for the state budget does not include funding for the Amtrak line that connects Indianapolis to Chicago. 

Representative Campbell's amendment was for the full $3 million. It was voted down, 59 nays to 35 yeas. She said she has heard from her constiuents that they want this rail line to continue.

"We have a lot of students in the West Lafayette, Lafayette area that rely on that transportation to get to and from the university to Indianapolis or Chicago," she said.

She said she is also concerned for the jobs that will be lost because of the ending of this line, which will in turn impact tax revenue brought into the state. She said we will also lose federal dollars used to maintain the track. 

Representative Campbell said the train line impacts other areas too.

"It will help our environment, it helps our roads, and it helps people with financial difficulty making those rides," she said.

She said the city of Rensselaer will be impacted by the loss of transportation, especially since the city recently rebuilt its train depot in 2013.

People can still ride along the rail line as part of the Cardinal Rail line that runs from Washington D.C., through Indianapolis, to Chicago. That line only runs three times a week, opposed to the daily running of the Hoosier State Rail Line.

Governor Holcomb's proposed budget is for the next two years and goes into effect on July 1st. 

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