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Sen. Eddie Melton releases economic development plan; SB 434 headed to governor’s desk

Photo caption: Sen. Eddie Melton

On April, 28, 2023, the Eddie Melton for Mayor of Gary campaign released the campaign’s Economic Development plan.

“Gary residents deserve to enjoy stable neighborhoods, a healthy economy and an improved quality of life, and, as Mayor, I will work to achieve these goals by incentivizing equitable development throughout the entire city,” said Sen. Eddie Melton. “I will focus on promoting strategic and sustainable economic growth by promoting business start-ups, supporting existing small and medium-sized enterprises, fostering innovation and attracting new businesses to the area by leveraging our unique geographic location, logistics infrastructure and natural resources. Possessing a strong economic development plan is vital to the future of Gary. My economic strategy will focus on making our city safer and more attractive, fostering investment, reducing environmental impact, creating jobs and generating tax revenue that can be used to finance local government services.”

Melton’s Economic Development plan for Gary includes establishing the Office of Economic and Community Development, creation of the Gary Small Business Center, launching the Gary Small Business Advisory Council, commissioning the first disparity study related to Minority, Women and Veteran Business Enterprises, intentional investment and development of Broadway, establishing Gary as a national hub for transportation and logistics, creation of both a Tourism and Visitors Taskforce and a Renewable Energy Taskforce as well as centering Transit-Oriented Development.

On Thursday, Sen. Melton’s authored legislation, Senate Bill 434 — Economic Development in Lake County, passed out of the Legislature for the final time with a vote of 49-1. It will now head to the governor’s desk. Sen. Melton’s economic development bill leverages new gaming revenue anticipated for 2026 with local matching dollars to:

    • Establish the Lake County Convention and Economic Development Fund to be used for the creation of a convention center in Lake County
    • Create the Blighted Property Demolition Fund
    • Provide funding to revitalize the Gary Metro Station to complement the Double Tracking project.

Regarding his bill, Sen. Melton said, “I’m incredibly grateful for the overwhelming bipartisan support SB 434 has received to now be on its way to the governor’s desk. This moment is the culmination of two years of collective effort, collaboration and many conversations to fine-tune the language of this bill to ensure optimal benefits for Gary and Lake County.”

You can view Melton’s Economic Development plan by clicking the image below.


For information about the campaign and Eddie’s candidacy, visit

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