As the 2017 Idaho Legislature adjourns sine die, two very important AIC-supported transportation funding bills are headed to Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter for signature.
Senate Bill 1141 provides $52 million in state emergency funding for restoring roads and bridges damaged by spring floods in counties where the Governor has declared a disaster. This state emergency appropriation could leverage very significant assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Cities that receive assistance would be required to come up with a 10% local match, which may be met by in-kind work done by city employees and equipment.
Senate Bill 1206 will authorize up to $300 million in GARVEE bonds for I-84 between Nampa and Caldwell and other state transportation projects, as well as reauthorize the state surplus eliminator for two years with the revenue split 60% to the Idaho Transportation Department and 40% to local highway jurisdictions (cities, counties and highway districts).
The surplus eliminator revenue will be used for project grants to improve safety on roadways and pedestrian routes, enhance mobility, strengthen economic development, and repair bridges. Currently, it appears that about $1.3 million will be available in surplus eliminator revenue for local highway jurisdictions in state FY 2017.
Senate Bill 1206 also dedicates 1% of state sales tax revenue to state transportation projects to enhance capacity and mitigate congestion, which comes out of the state’s share of sales tax revenue and does not impact local government revenue sharing.
We extend our sincere appreciation for the dedicated work by Senate Transportation Committee Chair Bert Brackett of Three Creek, who is a tireless advocate for improving local roads. Sen. Chuck Winder of Boise played a pivotal role in the passage of Senate Bill 1206 and also deserves special recognition for his efforts. We also recognize Rep. Clark Kauffman of Filer and Rep. Rick Youngblood of Nampa, who are also articulate advocates for local transportation needs.
We also greatly appreciate the effort by many city officials who called, emailed and texted their legislators to ask for their support of these important bills. AIC’s legislative advocacy efforts depend on the grassroots involvement of city officials throughout the state.