After hinting that he would propose an increase in the fuel tax or vehicle registration fees, Gov. Phil Batt on Wednesday set conditions under which he might be convinced to support an independent proposal.
In his budget message, Batt said the Transportation Board would be proposing a user fee increase of some type to check the escalating deterioration of state highways.
But he said he would only support it if his concerns about the need to expand the board from three to six members, increasing the governor’s control over the department and exorcising duplication and excess administration are addressed.
“I believe there are too many administrators,” Batt said. “There is redundancy in drafting proposed projects. There is a lot of money spent on self promotion. There is too little contracting of maintenance to private providers.”
The board and department offi cials have seen the proportion of deficient pavement statewide rise from 18 percent in 1986 to 37 percent this year. Without an infusion of additional cash, it will hit 52 percent in another decade.
xxxx Legislative log Introduced In Senate: SJM101 (Schroeder) - Message to Congress urging adoption of balanced budget amendment.