For immediate release:
Feb. 19, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS - In a Republican-dominated Indiana House of Representatives, State Rep. Steven R. Stemler (D-Jeffersonville) is fighting to make sure economic development plans benefiting southern Indiana remain in the proposed biennial state budget.
As a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, Stemler persuaded members of the group, including Chairman Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville), to include $63 million in funding for the Ohio River Bridges Project and $585,000 for the Falls of the Ohio State Park exhibits.
“Funding for the Falls of the Ohio is desperately needed,” said Stemler. “The park has been overlooked for funding for years and I’m glad we could include this funding in the budget.
The funding for the Falls of the Ohio would go toward upgrading the exhibits, which draws people in for a variety of activities, including fishing, hiking, fossil viewing, and bird watching.
Similarly, funding for the Ohio River Bridges Project would benefit the region economically, according to Stemler.
“Once completed, the Ohio River Bridges will help improve the flow of traffic between southern Indiana and Louisville. It will help in the economic development of the area by providing a connection to our neighbors in Kentucky,” he said.
“While I may be disappointed with other aspects of the budget, I’m pleased to have fought for my district by including the necessary funds to help southern Indiana thrive,” he added.
The budget was amended by the Ways and Means Committee to include Stemler’s funding request and will be presented to the full House for further discussion. His amendment was a bipartisan effort, supported by Rep. Edward Clere (R-New Albany) and Sen. Ron Grooms (R-Jeffersonville).