INDIANAPOLIS—Today the Senate Tax and Fiscal Committee met to consider House Bill 1199, a bill that threatened to wholly repeal Indianapolis’s Economic Enhancement District (EED) established last year. After amending and passing the bill, the Senate Democratic Caucus members — Senators Qaddoura (Tax and Fiscal Policy Ranking Minority Member), Randolph, Niezgodski, and Hunleyreleased the following joint statement:

We are united in our support of the bill as amended. HB 1199 in its current form would allow for the Indianapolis Economic Enhancement District to continue, providing for funding for the Mile Square to support cleanliness, safety, programming, and the operations low-barrier housing hub for local Hoosiers experiencing homelessness. Thousands of people live in, work in, and pass through the downtown Mile Square area every day, whether it be part of their daily life, work, tourism, or for a convention. We want to see the EED program continue and help the city invest in public health and safety for this area, which is a vital economic engine for the city and our state as a whole. We are glad to have reached a bipartisan consensus about this in Committee and are optimistic about carrying that forward to the Senate floor. Thank you to the Chair and my colleagues on the committee for their support of the amended bill. All Hoosiers should be glad to see our state’s capital – which drives nearly a quarter of Indiana’s GDP — grow and thrive.”  

Senator Andrea Hunley (D-Indianapolis), whose district wholly encompasses the EED, provided the following further comment: Thank you to the neighbors and businesses who reached out and testified — your voice matters, and legislators listened. Through bipartisan collaboration, we were able to reach an agreement that will allow the Economic Enhancement District to continue for years to come. This tax program will benefit residents and businesses in the Mile Square and throughout the city while helping us sustain low-barrier housing programs for our neighbors in need. I will be hard at work to make sure we get this balanced, principled compromise over the finish line.”