The General Assembly has sent legislation to Governor Mike Pence’s desk that instructs the RDA to focus on shoreline and transportation improvements in Northwest Indiana.
House Bill 1398 (approved 86-0) clarifies the duties of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority by requiring the bi-county agency to focus on improving region transportation and infrastructure and implementing the Marquette Plan to redevelop the Lake Michigan shoreline.
This legislation also streamlines the RDA’s funding by sending the RDA’s share of casino admissions taxes directly to the RDA. This change will improve our ability to issue bonds to cover the costs of South Shore commuter rail expansion in Northwest Indiana.
Investments by the RDA since 2006 have had a cumulative economic impact of more than $1.1 billion, according to a study conducted by an independent economic research firm. By 2025, the RDA’s investments are projected to generate $770 million in economic output annually (in 2012 dollars). This increased economic output in 2025 will support approximately 4,000 jobs in the Lake and Porter County region. More than 2,000 of these jobs will be supported by industrial and commercial investment in and around the airport. The increase in economic activity and employment will increase personal income in Northwest Indiana by an estimated $383 million annually.