Conference Committee to Settle Transportation

BOISE, Idaho(AP) — After 88 days in the Idaho Legislature, lawmakers have pulled a rarely-used card to settle the state’s increasingly contentious transportation funding shortfall.

Known as a conference committee, the six-person joint panel met Thursday to discuss options on how to make some sort of dent in Idaho’s $262 million annual transportation deficit.

However, after meeting for nearly seven hours, the group had agreed on little, particularly over if and how much to raise the state’s gas tax.

The discussion has focused mainly on HB 312, a failed proposal that would have raised $127 million in new transportation revenue. The original proposal would have raised the gas tax by 10-cents per gallon, which has raised objections from the panel’s House republican members.

The group is tasked with meeting until they find some sort of solution.