Decision due on Alaska rest stop measure by July 31

| Friday, July 18, 2003

By July 31, Alaskans should know whether their state will spend less of the state’s highway funds on such things as rest stops and trails and more on the roads themselves.

SB71, proposed by Senate Majority Leader Ben Stevens, R-Anchorage, would force the state to spend no more than 10 percent of its federal highway money on such amenities, according to the Legislature’s Web site. A spokeswoman at the Legislature told Land Line July 17 that if the governor has until July 31 to either sign or veto the bill. If he takes no action, the bill will become law.

The Senate voted 11-7 in favor of the measure March 17. The House passed the bill by a vote of 26-2 on May 17.

Federal laws “mandate that states expend at least 10 percent of federal Surface Transportation Program funds on enhancements such as trails and landscaping,” Sen. Stevens said in a statement. “Over the past several years, the state of Alaska has expended amounts well beyond the minimum requirements for enhancements projects that could otherwise be applied to roadway construction and improvement projects.”

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