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Tue March 18, 2014
Road Bills Clear House Committee, Republicans Balk At Changes
With the budget now in the hands of the Senate, state House members are now turning to the two-year road bills.
The legislation maps out which districts will receive funds for road projects.
House members are debating an overall package that would fund road projects at $129 million less than the Gov. Beshear proposed and stretch out a six year plan over ten years.
"We've got too many needs across the Commonwealth we've got to accommodate. And while those of us in the east certainly want to build a Mountain Parkway... we've waited 15 years. We can wait a couple more," Rep. Leslie Combs told reporters.
Combs says fully funding the governor’s six-year $753 million dollar plan to extend and widen Eastern Kentucky’s Mountain Parkway would have crowded out other worthy projects.
But Republicans, including House Republican Whip John Carney, argue that members of the minority who didn’t vote for a revenue bill raising the state’s gas tax had projects removed from their districts. He says taxpayers should ask the Democratic leadership if their tax dollars “count the same” as residents of other districts.
The House plan would fund $4.5 billion in road and bridge projects over the next two years.