Feb 11 2014
Doubling Down on Bad Transportation Policy (Filed 2/05/14)
S.994 would enact two large infrastructure funding changes. First it would change recently enacted law that stipulates $50 million be transferred to infrastructure bank each year to be bonded into $500 million for projects that bank deems worthy. This bill would increase this annual transfer amount to $100 million which could be bonded into a $1 billion of new debt each year. Second, the bill would mandate the full transference of a revenue source, half of which currently dedicated to education to the State Non-Federal Aid Highway Fund. This revenue source used to be dedicated entirely to education, but half of the proceeds were redirected to infrastructure last year and only one year later the legislature is back for the other half of the revenues. This idea as we have said before represents that old saying robbing Peter to pay Paul.
These policies were bad ideas when they were introduced and first passed, and they’re still bad ideas when legislators are trying to double down on them now. Passing this bill would mean more debt, and it would do little to guarantee better roads. Until lawmakers address our state’s prioritizing of construction over maintenance, any other road fix bills will simply be throwing good money after bad.