Democratic leader Scott Pelath seeks to outdo Gov. Mike Pence on Indiana road funding

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By: Brian Slodysko/Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The leader of minority Democrats in the Indiana House is calling for an additional $2 billion in road funding in a bid to outdo Gov. Mike Pence’s call for more highway spending.

Democratic Rep. Scott Pelath of Michigan City said the Republican governor’s $1 billion plan is a lackluster reaction to political pressure that would only fix state highways and not local roads.

Pelath wants to change the way Indiana collects gas taxes to make his plan work. Currently, sales tax from gas purchases can be spent however lawmakers choose.

Pelath wants to make it mandatory for that money to be spent on roads. But he did acknowledge state budget reserves would have to be tapped during the first year.