House Approves Bill to Support Military Bases in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO): Legislation has cleared the Indiana House that would allow local government to offer support for in-state military bases.

The measure allows financial support by grants or loans for improving infrastructure at and around those compounds.

The bill was authored by Senator Jim Banks of Columbia City as a way for communities to make their bases more viable in light of possible base closings and realignments.  The measure had passed in the State Senate last month. The legislation now returns to the Senate for concurrence.

This vote comes just as Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel proposed major cuts in military spending on Monday. Those cuts included eliminating the entire flight of A-10 fighters, including those at Fort Wayne's Air National Guard base.

“The 122nd Fighter Wing is a vital asset to the Fort Wayne area, both in terms of defense and economic growth,” Banks said. “This bill would give communities like Fort Wayne the option to extend financial support to its military bases, even in the face of federal funding cuts.”