Gov. Little signs “Leading Idaho” transportation funding bill into law
Boise, ID (STL.News) Governor Brad Little signed a key part of his “Leading Idaho” plan into law today, providing hundreds of millions of dollars in new transportation funding to clear out one-third of Idaho’s bridge maintenance backlog.
Senate Bill 1359 includes $200 million for local bridges, $6 million for air, $8 million for rail, $18 million to pay off debt for Garvee projects, $10 million for safe pedestrian crossings, and $10 million to build out a road at the Port of Lewiston.
“We are taking advantage of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fully fund known transportation needs – to maintain our roads and bridges permanently – with no new taxes. Last year, together we passed the largest transportation funding package in state history, and we did it without raising taxes. But we did not stop there. We cannot continue our record economic trajectory if our logging trucks can’t get across old bridges or we can’t get our farm products to market. This bill invests another $200 million in one-time funding to clear out one-third of the backlog of deficient bridges, and we are closing in on another $200 million in ongoing funding to fully address our known maintenance needs locally and statewide,” Governor Little said.
Governor Little recognized the state’s strong partnership with local governments, including cities, counties, and highway districts, which supported the bill.
Governor Little also thanked his legislative partners and the team and the Idaho Transportation Department for their leadership in getting the bill across the finish line.
Governor Little is expected to sign another transportation funding bill in the coming days that will include $200 million for road maintenance.
“I am unwilling to put Idahoans’ safety and the maintenance of our state’s roads and bridges at the whims of the feds. We must not look to Washington, D.C., to solve our problems. Leading Idaho means addressing our own state’s needs. Together, we’ll show Washington, D.C., how to tackle transportation by fully funding known gaps with no new taxes and providing long-term funding for long-term needs,” Governor Little added.