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Legislative panel to hear mass transit testimony

INDIANAPOLIS – A legislative committee that spent the summer studying a proposal to expand mass transit in central Indiana is ready to hear testimony from some of the plan’s supporters and opponents.

In April, an Indiana Senate committee voted to postpone action on a bill that would let voters in 10 central Indiana counties decide whether to raise local income taxes to fund the plan.

The Central Indiana Transit Study Committee is scheduled to hear testimony Thursday from tea party activists who are skeptical of the plan’s possible $1.3 billion cost to taxpayers.

The panel will then hear from the plan’s supporters, including the heads of two suburban Indianapolis chambers of commerce. The chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis and a pastor will also testify in favor of the referendum proposal.