There are lots of ways to pay for infrastructure, and I expect we will have a healthy debate. I think when you have money in the bank and the best credit rating in America, the last place you should look to pay for roads and bridges is the wallets and pocketbooks of hardworking Hoosiers.
But infrastructure is more than roads. Indiana's ports have also been spectacular catalysts for job growth. That is why I have called upon the Ports of Indiana to vigorously explore the building of a fourth port in the far southeastern part of our state, which could unleash enormous economic investment throughout the southeast region of our state.
The governor also issued his first veto of the year in rejecting a bill that would allow electronic wagering on horse races. Pence said he believed the measure represented an expansion of gambling in the state.
Pence's decision on the casino legislation was in question because of his often-stated stance against an expansion of gambling in the state. Pence said he believed the measure met his standard and he wouldn't issue a veto. "From early in the legislative process, I made it clear that I would not stand in the way of reforms that would allow these businesses to remain competitive with surrounding states so long as it did not constitute an expansion of gaming in Indiana," Pence said in a statement.
Mourdock insisted that he wasn't suggesting those programs should therefore be eliminated. After all, he said, neither the space program nor the Federal Bureau of Investigation are in the constitution, either, but he supports them.
The last contract on the Hoosier Heartland Corridor will be let next summer and the entire project finished by 2013. The last contracts on U.S. 31 from South Bend through Kokomo will be let this year, and we have accelerated completion of the entire corridor into 2015. I-69 will be open for traffic from Evansville to Crane, as will the entire Fort to Port highway in Northeast Indiana. The Sherman-Minton Bridge will be rebuilt and reopened by March and, upriver, an agreement on a new bridge from Utica to Louisville will be in place, cementing Indiana's place at the forefront of the public-private partnership movement.
We will build the state's 3,000th mile of bike and hiking trails, and reach our goal of a trail within 15 minutes of every Hoosier.
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