Counties need to explore benefits of cooperation

How much money flows across Indiana county lines each year? According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2018, the in-flow of earnings to Indiana counties from places both within and outside the state was $74 billion, or 36% of the earnings received by Hoosier residents. Does that resonate with you? It demonstrates why informed people stress real regionalism.

Real regionalism recognizes the opportunities, the costs and the benefits of workers moving between counties. It means facilitating and, where appropriate, funding commuting.

That is the philosophy behind the massive expenditure on extending the South Shore Line from Hammond to Dyer in Lake County and improving the service between Gary, Michigan City and South Bend. That same motivation is behind the long-term effort of Indianapolis to extend its public transit system into the surrounding counties.

Real regionalism is not getting together for lunch one or twice a year and exchanging

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