Greenfield's Crider to Chair Transportation Panel As Legislature Seeks Deal on Infrastructure Funding
When legislators decide next year how to pay for road repairs, there will be a new face at the negotiating table.
Greenfield Republican Mike Crider is the new chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, replacing the retiring Carlin YodeR (R-Middlebury). Crider has been the committee's ranking member, and is one of eight legislators on a 16-member panel which has spent the summer reviewing long-term funding options. Their recommendations are due by the end of the year.
Crider says so far, every funding option is on the table, from tolls to tax hikes to registration fees. He says the only firm commitment is to finding a truly long-term solution that'll last for 20 years, if not 30.
As chairman, Crider is likely to preside over the eventual funding plan's first hearing in the Senate. The bill will also have to pass through the Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Noblesville Republican Luke Kenley, before reaching the floor.
Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) announced Crider's appointment Monday.
Crider will be one of nine new committee chairs in the Senate. Carmel's Mike Delph will take Crider's old gavel as chairman of Veterans' Affairs. The retirements of Indianapolis Senator Patricia Miller and Bedford's Brent Steele opened the chairmanships of the Health and Judiciary Committees, filled by Valparaiso's Ed Charbonneau and Martinsville's Rod Bray. Bray will occupy a Judiciary chairmanship previously held by his father, Richard.
Logansport's Randy Head replaces Bray as chairman of Civil Law, with Kokomo's Jim Buck taking over the Local Government Committee, and Jasper's Mark Messmer becoming Commerce chairman. Muncie Sen. Doug Eckerty replaces Charbonneau as Environmental Affairs chairman, with Fort Wayne's Liz Brown taking Eckerty's old slot as Ethics chair.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described Sen. Joe Zakas's (R-Granger) title of majority leader emeritus as a newly created position. Zakas also held that title in the last General Assembly,. The article also incorrectly stated that Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport) replaced Zakas as chairman of the Civil Law Committee. He replaces Sen. Rod Bray (R-Martinsville), who replaced Zakas in that role before the 2016 session.