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General Assembly Unlikely To Approve Local Road Funding

Senate President Pro Tem David Long says it’s unlikely the General Assembly will include any local funding in legislation freeing up transportation dollars.

College Mall Road

Photo: Alex Dierckman/WFIU-WTIU News

The state senate removed $25 million from a bill that would have gone toward local road construction.

In last year’s budget, the General Assembly put aside $400 million into a transportation fund to be used for major projects in the future.

In response to a request by the governor, proposed legislation this session would release at least some of the money to the executive branch for construction now.

The House included about $25 million for local road construction needs, but the Senate stripped it out.

Still, Senator Long notes that the legislature appropriated 100 million dollars a year in last year’s budget for local roads.

“It used to be we’d slip it into the budget if we could afford it,” Long says. “But we’ve made a commitment to permanently give a revenue stream to local governments, which has been quite meaningful.”

Valparaiso Republican Representative Ed Soliday, who inserted the local roads portion into this year’s bill, says the House isn’t giving up on including local money.

“If we don’t get it this year we’ll be back again because we got about a hundred million a year, but just to maintain what we got is probably eight hundred million,” Soliday says.

House and Senate lawmakers will have a hearing Monday morning to discuss the legislation.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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