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Toll Road Proceeds Placed In "Lockbox"

Last updated on Thursday, November 29, 2007

(UNDATED) - Half a billion dollars of the proceeds from the toll road lease are in a lockbox for future road-repair needs. But that lock isn’t exactly burglar-proof.

Any future legislature could vote to change the "Next Generation Trust Fund" law and use the money immediately, for roads or something else.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly last session for a constitutional amendment that would truly lock the lockbox, but the House never gave the proposal a hearing.

Carmel Republican Mike Delph has reintroduced the amendment. He blames its failure in 2007 on the time the house had to spend on other constitutional amendments, including a proposed gay-marriage ban.

The 2008 session is six weeks shorter, which Delph acknowledges could make passage difficult. And there are again competing amendments, including at least three on property-tax relief.

Delph argues it should be in everyone's interest to protect the trust fund and ensure it's there for its intended purpose.

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