On a 12-8 vote, JFAC has just approved a motion from Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, to fund GARVEE projects next year at the same level as his earlier successful motion – $246 million – with the same list of dollar amounts per project. That includes spending $50 million that originally was targeted to the Garwood to Sagle project on Highway 95 in North Idaho to instead expand two Treasure Valley projects, on I-84 from Caldwell to Meridian and for a new road from I-84 to state Highway 44. There was one change from the earlier plan that had cleared JFAC and then got pulled back – Henderson’s new plan no longer orders ITD to extend a multimillion-dollar management contract and instead calls for the contracting process to be “transparent.” Like the earlier plan, it includes a clause allowing ITD to move money around between projects if necessary, but not to add or remove any corridors. Warned Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, “We have politicized more than is politicized already.”
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