State representatives urge American steel be used in all public works projects

State Rep. Lisa Beck, D-Hebron, at podium, speaks Monday in favor of a nonbinding House Resolution calling on the state and all local governments to use American-made steel in public works projects. United Steelworkers District 7 Director Mike Millsap, right of Beck, and leaders of other Indiana steel organizations, joined Beck on the House floor during debate on the resolution. It was approved unanimously.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana House unanimously recommended Monday that the state and all local governments use American-made steel for taxpayer-funded construction projects.

House Resolution 30, sponsored by state Rep. Lisa Beck, D-Hebron, is nonbinding, but expresses the collective opinion of the 100 state representatives that American steel, particularly the 27 percent of it made by 20,000 Hoosier steelworkers, is the best choice for public buildings and infrastructure.

"It is important for us to do whatever we can to promote an industry that means so much to Indiana," Beck said.

"Any kind of structure that is built with taxpayer dollars — be it a bridge, or a university library, or something to support state or local government — should use Indiana steel. That is how we support our state's economy."

Mike Millsap, director of United Steelworkers District 7, which covers Northwest Indiana, noted that for every steel job at least three more are created in the community.

"So it's important that we make and use steel in the United States," Millsap said.

State Rep. Chuck Moseley, D-Portage, said Indiana would be a much poorer state without the jobs and taxes generated by the steel industry, including the ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor facility in his Porter County district.

"Steel is the backbone of the economy of Northwest Indiana and a major contributor to the overall revenue for the financial health of the state of Indiana and all Hoosiers," Moseley said.

Beck will be provided copies of the approved resolution for her to distribute to Indiana local governments to remind them that American steel is the best choice for public construction.


Statehouse Bureau Chief

Dan is Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Times. Since 2009, he's reported on Indiana government and politics — and how both impact the Region — from the state capital in Indianapolis. He originally is from Orland Park, Ill.