The $54 million transportation funding compromise that ended Idaho’s second-longest legislative session this year has now shrunk to about $28 million, far less than Gov. Butch Otter said was needed right away to keep Idaho’s roads up to par. First, a joint legislative task force recommended delaying a $21.1 million funding shift from parks and the state police to road work until July of 2011. Now, the other bills that passed this year, from removing an ethanol exemption to creating new truck-trailer plates for out-of-state firms to buy, are bringing in significantly less money than anticipated.
An increase in fees for driver’s licenses, titles and the like is now expected to bring in $11.5 million, instead of $13.1 million, as recession-weary Idahoans opt to renew their licenses and registrations for shorter periods of time. Repeal of the ethanol exemption is raising $15.4 million, about $1 million less than expected. And legislation estimated to raise $5 million a year from new truck-trailer plates is now expected to raise just $500,000; it’s brought in only $105 so far. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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