Governor Mike Pence Wednesday joined regional leaders in North Central Indiana to ceremonially sign House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1001, which will provide $42 million for each of the Regional Cities initiatives. The Governor signed HEA 1001, which goes into effect July 1, 2016, into law on March 23, 2016.
“Our Indiana Regional Cities Initiative has sparked unprecedented collaboration and will spur economic development projects to improve the quality of life in regions across our state,” said Governor Pence. “It is imperative that we help accelerate the transformation of our regions into nationally-recognized places to live, work, and play, and I applaud the North Central region for developing an innovative plan that looks ahead to Indiana’s third century.”
The Governor was joined by Indiana Economic Development Corporation President Jim Schellinger, Goshen City Council President Jim McKee, Michiana Partnership President and CEO Regina Emberton, bill sponsor Senator Jim Arnold (D – LaPorte) and Representative Doug Miller (R –Elkhart).
The North Central region’s plan, Innovate Indiana, includes 39 projects aimed at establishing a Regional Innovation District Network, which would help achieve the region’s vision of establishing World-Class Higher Education and Community Partnerships, Access and Connectivity, and High-Performing Communities.
The Indiana Regional Cities Initiative encourages communities to work together to develop and implement regional plans. HEA 1001 allocates $42 million for each of the Regional Cities initiatives, ensuring three regional development plans in North Central, Northeast, and Southwest Indiana receive state funding. Together, these plans outline 100 quality of place projects totaling more than $2 billion in combined public and private investment. More than half of these planned projects, including new riverfront developments, revitalized downtowns and expanded trail systems, are currently scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.