A Delaware state lawmaker has requested that legislative
leaders and Gov. Ruth Ann Minner call a special session of the General Assembly
this fall to discuss transportation funding.
Sen. George H. Bunting, D-Bethany Beach, is concerned about
any emerging plan to sell highways to private investors.
The state is confronting a backlog of road and bridge work
at a time of slowed revenues for transportation, The News Journal reported. In June, the state delayed for a year projects costing about $290
Transportation Secretary Nathan Hayward III has proposed
that the state consider long-term sale-lease agreements with private investors
for Interstate 95, Delaware 1 or any bypass for U.S. 301.
Minner in June appointed a special task force of legislative
leaders to look into a $211 million shortfall in the state’s transportation
trust fund, which pays for most of the state Transportation Department’s
operating and construction costs.
“This is just too big an issue for a special committee to
approve without a full up or down vote by the General Assembly,” Bunting told
the Cape Gazette. That’s why I am asking the governor to call a special
session in October. We need to hold a hearing, get public input on a question
like this and then vote on it.”