The Senate Judiciary & Rules Committee, which had been scheduled to meet at 2:15 to introduce a new transportation bill, had a holdup as it waited for the new bill to be printed; it’s still waiting. The new bill, from Senate Transportation Chairman Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, calls for $300 million in new GARVEE bonding; a two-year extension of the surplus eliminator with a 60-40 split between the state and locals and stepped-up reporting requirements for locals; and creation of a new “bucket” for transportation funding including about $5 million a year from cigarette tax funds that now goes to ITD, and a 1 percent share of the state sales tax, with the 1 percent calculated after revenue sharing for cities and counties, to keep them whole.
Brackett said, “It’s just a fight that I don’t think we need to get into,” over reducing revenue sharing.
Asked if he thinks his bill has the votes to pass in the Senate, Brackett said, “It’s close. But we think so.”
Once the bill is introduced in the Judiciary Committee, the Senate will reconvene and read it across the desk, and the measure will get a bill number. It looks like the number will be SB 1206. Then it’ll be referred back to the Senate Transportation Committee for a hearing this afternoon.
“Our hope is that we can get it out of the committee,” Brackett said. “As you can imagine, it’s a compromise bill and no one likes every bit of it.”
Judiciary Chair Patti Anne Lodge announced about 10 minutes ago to those assembled in her committee room, waiting for the bill’s introductory hearing and public release, “We’re just waiting for the system to catch up to where we are. If you’ll just be patient with us, maybe in another 15 minutes we’ll be there.”