I-69 Citizens Coalition
Governor Daniel's "Major Moves" transportation funding proposal violates the Indiana Constitution, a new legal analysis concludes.
The analysis, by the Indianapolis law firm Mullett, Polk & Associates, concludes that Major Moves violates Article 10 section 2 of the Indiana Constitution, which requires that "the net annual income" from "public works belonging to the State" must be used to pay off the state's "public debt."
The full legal document is available at: www.i69tour.org/MM_MEMO.pdf
Under Major Moves, Daniels proposes to lease the Indiana Toll Road to Spanish and Australian corporations for 75 years, in exchange for a payment of $3.85 billion. Daniels plans to spend this money on new highways projects, including the highly controversial and unneeded I-69 extension.
But the state constitution prohibits Indiana from using the proceeds of the Toll Road lease for other transportation projects, as promised by Governor Daniels. Instead, the constitution requires that the money be placed in the State General Fund to be applied to reducing the public debt.
Mullett, Polk & Associates analyzed the constitutionality of Major Moves for a coalition of citizen and public interest organizations, including COUNT US!, Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads, Brenda and Terry Buster, Bill and Jan Boyd and Steve Bonney. They oppose Major Moves because, among other reasons, it is fiscally irresponsible, takes control of vital infrastructure out of state hands, concentrates too much power in the Governor and would lead to leasing and tolling of many roads across the state. The analysis was paid for by these citizens and organizations.
This constitutional violation is just one of many problems, unknowns and confusions surrounding Major Moves. Given the prospects of numerous unintended consequences, Major Moves is moving much too fast. The above groups and individuals call upon the legislature to stop work on HB 1008, to take the time to find out what this legislation really means for Indiana, and to avoid violating our Constitution. That is the only responsible approach to this highly risky and unpopular legislation.