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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Cash from the incidental cow

Looks like Gary has trumped us. Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry has asked for a measly $300 million from the $5 billion Indiana is expected to get from the coming stimulus package. Gary Mayor Tudy Clay not only wants $400 million, he wants Gary "to be the first in line." But don't get the notion that the only funding idea he has is to hold his hand out to a higher level of government:

A state Senate panel voted 7-3 Tuesday to legalize the type of red light cameras Hammond wanted to install last summer.

Senate Bill 389, sponsored by Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, would allow any Indiana city or county to deploy the traffic safety tool, which already is in use by Chicago and dozens of other Illinois municipalities.

[. . .]

The legislation, which is much broader than a 10-city pilot program that failed overwhelmingly in the House four years ago, now goes before the full Senate.

Legislative analysts have not estimated how much the red light fines might fetch. And legislators insisted Tuesday that the revenue generated by the tickets is incidental in comparison to the public safety concern.

Oh, public safety, sure, we believe that. It can't possibly be about the money. If this passes, bet you anything Fort Wayne will be among the first to install them. They'll be especially lucrative when put at traffic lights near the downtown casino they want to build.