Gov. Butch Otter says he’ll support a proposal from Senate Transportation Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell, and others to raise Idaho’s vehicle registration fees to pay for fixing roads. “We must act without delay to address our growing transportation infrastructure needs,” Otter said. He also called for shifting half of the funding for the Idaho State Police, or $9 million, off of gas tax funds, and making up the difference from the state general fund. That would allow that $9 million in gas taxes to go to road construction and maintenance. Otter said he wants to shift the other half next year. He also called for approving the next $134 million round of GARVEE bonding for major highway projects, and said he’d support local-option taxation for “construction, repair and maintenance of public roads and bridges.” Otter quoted Ronald Reagan in expressing his support for local-option taxes, which he said should be approved by county, should need a two-thirds vote, and should be voted on only on the May or November primary or general election dates. “I may personally oppose a local-option tax that’s put before me,” he said. “But my neighbors and I should have the right to decide that for ourselves.”
Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.