The state House of Representatives has passed two-year and four-year financial plans for building Kentucky roads and bridges. The House passed three infrastructure bills this morning, 88-4. The bills are full of projects from sidewalks to building interstate bridges across the Ohio River and widening other highways across the commonwealth.
The plans have less opposition than the general fund budgets do, although they are still likely to be changed in the state Senate. Representative Sannie Overly says part of the reason is because there’s more money in the bank for infrastructure projects.
“Thankfully revenue is up, revenue has increased. And so if you would compare this budget with the 2010 budget there are more funds available with regard with state supported construction and with regard to federal construction,” she says.
Overly says Congress’s inability to pass yearly transportation budgets created some uncertainty with federal funds. But she says the state is still moving forward with that federal money it already has and is supplementing with state funds elsewhere.
But state representative Brad Montell says not all lawmakers were pleased with the plan.
“I asked for two simple things in the six year plan, neither of which were put in," he says. "But one thing did happen that I didn’t ask for, my number one project in Spencer County, a project where we’ve experienced fatalities, a project that is the number one priority on the KTIPA priority list, was taken off. So I have no problem in voting no for this bill."
The bills now head to the state Senate, where it’s likely to be tweaked more.