Thursday, July 30, 2009

Otter Transportation Funding Group Gets 17 Months

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 5:12 PM

Uncle Butch's road funding panel will meet next week to get organized. No rush though ... The Governor has given the task force until December to come up with long-term funding solutions for the Idaho Transportation Department. December 2010, that is.

“Our first meeting will largely be an organizational one,” Lt. Gov. Brad Little said. “But we intend to make substantial progress this year and return to work after the 2010 legislative session.”

Otter spokesman Mark Warbis said that the governor will take any concrete suggestions from the group as soon as they are ready, but that their task is to find a 20- to 30-year solution to road funding.

“The issue of transportation funding will be on the table during the 2010 Legislative session,” Warbis said. "The governor would welcome any solutions the taskforce can make by then, but he’s giving them until Dec. 2010 in recognition of the long-term solution we’re seeking."

We asked Warbis if the NOVEMBER 2010 elections might also be a consideration in the December date, to which he responded: "In recognition of the long-term solution we're seeking."

The organizational meeting of the Task Force on Modernizing Transportation Funding in Idaho starts at 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, in the Joe R. Williams Building on State Street north of the Statehouse.

A separate legislative task force is also meeting to discuss the fate of Idaho State Police and Department of Parks and Rec funding. It's next meeting is Aug. 11.

The governor's group also includes many legislators and will rely on information from ITD and from the Idaho State Tax Commission, among other agencies.

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