The conference committee is now discussing accepting the “surplus eliminator” plan, with no provision for local highway jurisdictions to get any of the funds; they’d be split 50-50 between ITD and the Budget Stabilization Fund, but that provision would expire in two years. “I think this has been a tedious process and a difficult process at times, but I do think that we’ve moved the ball forward,” said Rep. John Vander Woude. “I hope we can move this through both bodies and all move on to sine die.”
Rep. Mat Erpelding, D-Boise, said, “I think it is very short-sighted of the Legislature to only come up with $95 million, and tack on a fee on hybrid vehicles. … If this is the best that the Legislature can get, then I think that, reluctantly I can support it.”
Sen. Roy Lacey, D-Pocatello, said he could hold his nose and vote for it.
Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, said, “I’m particularly disappointed that safety concerns are not recognized as legitimate concerns of the locals.”