Privately, several North Idaho legislators have indicated that a proposal by state Sen. Jack Riggs to reconstruct U.S. Highway 95 will be dead on arrival.
One local lawmaker predicted the Coeur d’Alene Republican would be lucky to get 15 votes for his bill in the 70-member House. Why? Legislators are reluctant to raise taxes in an election year. Riggs’ plan calls for raising taxes on gas and diesel fuel by 1 or 2 cents per gallon and by increasing the fee for motor vehicle registration by an average of $30. That would generate $370 million over eight years for 27 projects statewide.
Interestingly, a recent poll shows a majority of Idahoans supports an upgrade of Highway 95.
Whether or not others back Riggs, the North Idaho delegation should be solidly behind him. Motorists continue to be injured and killed in accidents on the Goat Trail - even in election years.
, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = D.F. Oliveria/For the editorial board