Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Legislative session ends without money for transit, bike/pedestrian projects

This Wednesday morning a Transportation fee bill passed the House which would have created sustainable state support for transit. The bill increased various transportation fees to raise $13 million for transit agencies across the State. Rep. Liias sponsored an amendment, that passed, to ensure that $3 million of the fees will go to bike and pedestrian projects through the safe routes to school program. His amendment also added flexibility of monies for local governments to use it on local stormwater projects.

The bill then headed to the Senate for approval before the end of the special session later that night. The bill never got a vote on the Senate floor in the waning hours of the special session. It is hard to say why the bill did not come up for a vote, but it was a disappointment not to see desperately needed money going to street preservation, transit and safe routes to school projects.

Now the session is formally over and we can start to prepare for next year and ongoing legislative efforts to stabilize funding for transportation.

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