Transportation Bill Responsible for Ongoing Legistlation

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Transportation funding woes continue to be the main hurdle preventing Idaho lawmakers from concluding this year’s legislative session.

Lawmakers in both chambers were busy Wednesday finalizing transportation budgets and attempting to address the state’s $262 million annual revenue shortfall on maintaining and repairing Idaho’s roads and bridges.

Over in the House, lawmakers rejected the Senate’s amended proposal to raise nearly $127 million in new transportation funding.

Instead, House Speaker Scott Bedke says he plans on petitioning Senate leaders to form a joint panel —known as a rarely-formed “conference committee”— to find a viable transportation funding solution.

Across the rotunda in the Senate, legislatures approved a proposal to reduce the cost of public road repairs and maintenance by roughly $20 million as well as the Idaho Transportation Department’s 2016 budget.