Indiana Governor to cut Indy Speedway ‘gift money’ (2nd Update)

UPDATE #2 That political donation must have come through. Governor Mike Pence has signed legislation that will finance improvements at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The bill authorizes the Indiana Finance Authority to issue $100 million in bonds to fund improvements at IMS and create a Motorsports Improvement Fund for loans to businesses in the motorsports industry across the state.

"The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has contributed to the life of our state for more than a century, enhancing the global reputation of Indiana," said Pence. "The legislation I signed today makes a state investment that will further economic development in the motorsports industry while also protecting the interests of Hoosier taxpayers."

Improvements to the Speedway will include lighting to allow night racing, grandstand renovations, high-tech video boards and other facility upgrades.

The bonds will be paid back over 20 years with a special taxing zone at IMS providing $5 million a year. The Speedway will also pay $2 million annually.

The Motorsports Improvement Fund will provide revolving loans to race tracks, race team owners, drivers, motorsports suppliers and other qualified businesses in the racing industry in Indiana.

05/08/13 A reader writes, Dear, In the next week or so, a decent sized check will be cut to Pence's campaign, or some "non-profit," he's affiliated with. The week of the 500 (maybe Carb day) he'll have a sudden change of heart about that legislation. He'll wax poetic about how wonderful the Speedway is, and that legislation will go through. Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles, CA.

05/08/13 Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is ready to veto his first measures since taking office in January. The Republican governor said he would announce which bills he is opposing Wednesday.

Pence declined to say Tuesday which bills he is vetoing. But he reiterated concerns with a measure shifting power from the Democratic-controlled Indianapolis City-County Council to Republican Mayor Greg Ballard. He also expressed concerns with a plan for a $100 million loan to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for improvements.

Governor's vetoes don't hold as much weight in Indiana as they do in other states. A simple majority is needed in both the House and Senate to override a veto.

Lawmakers could return to the Statehouse on June 12 to consider any vetoes. The Indy Channel

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