Road funding bill awaits Louisiana governor's signature

| 6/29/2006

The Louisiana Legislature has approved a bill that is intended to aid funding efforts for roads and bridges in the state. The bill has been sent to Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s desk for her signature.

Sponsored by Rep. William Daniel IV, R-Baton Rouge, the measure would create a special fund to make up for funding shortfalls for major transportation projects in the state.

Projects that could be in line for assistance are the proposed loops around Baton Rouge and Lafayette, as well as the completion of Interstate 49, The Advocate reported.

The Transportation Mobility Fund would get money from deposited grants, gifts and donations received by the state and any other revenues available, whether local, state or federal.

A similar effort offered by Daniel failed a year ago. It called for tripling the fee Louisiana-based truck drivers pay each year to license their trucks.

Daniel later withdrew the bill from consideration citing opposition from the trucking industry. It called for boosting the registration fee for a typical, 80,000-pound, commercial vehicle to $1,512 per year to register in the state – an increase of more than $1,000.

The latest effort – HB299 – won unanimous support in the House and Senate.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor