Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Lawsuit Filed To Block Toll Road Deal

A citizens group filed suit today, suing the state on constitutional grounds, in the hopes of blocking the Major Moves toll road deal from moving forward. From the Indy Star:
Within hours of the state signing a deal to lease the Indiana Toll Road for 75 years, a citizens' group filed a lawsuit to block the agreement.

State officials signed the lease this morning with Macquarie-Cintra, a private Australian-Spanish consortium, for $3.85 billion. Meanwhile, the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana filed a lawsuit in St. Joseph County arguing the agreement violates the state's constitution.

Dave Menzer, a campaign organizer for the Indianapolis-based group, argued the Indiana Constitution requires the proceeds from any state-owned asset must go toward paying down public debt.

Proceeds from the lease would be used to fund Gov. Mitch Daniels' Major Moves roads initiative, which includes the extension of I-69 from Indianapolis to Evansville.
Libertarians are generally in favor of privatization. The constitutional argument made by the citizens group is an excellent one. Pay down the debt! Libertarians issued other objections prior to the passage of the law, on the following grounds:
  • The deal is too long. 15 years for the same money would have been appropriate, not 75.
  • This is a socialistic redistribution of wealth program, where uses of the road in the northern counties are paying to build roads in other parts of the state.
  • New terrain I-69 is the main target for new construction. Libertarian prefer upgrading existing roads to Interstate standards before consuming new terrain.
  • The people of the northern counties were against it. Their will should have been respected, or at least a better job of selling the deal to them by the Daniels Administration should have happened.

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