Legislation calling for a $550,000 outside performance evaluation of the Idaho Transportation Department cleared the Senate Transportation Committee this afternoon on a unanimous vote, buoying House members who are insisting on the audit as a condition for going along with revenue bills to raise more money for road work. “I think it’s a good thing for us to do from time to time, take a good, thorough look at what we’re doing,” said Senate President Pro-Tem Bob Geddes, R-Soda Springs, before the unanimous vote. Added Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls, “This is not an effort to go on a witch hunt, this is not an effort to find skeletons, this is a partnership.”
House Transportation Chairwoman JoAn Wood, R-Rigby, said the audit bill still has to pass the full Senate. “If the Senate accepts the audit, we’ll get together with ‘em and see what we feel like we can do,” she said.
Senate Transportation Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell, said after the vote, “The Senate’s done its part. That’s what they asked us to do – we just did it. We’re anxiously awaiting revenue enhancement bills from the House.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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