New Hampshire lawmakers have approved a bill that is intended to help protect funding for transportation work throughout the state.
The House and Senate voted to forward a bill to Gov. John Lynch that would limit the amount of money that can be transferred from the highway trust fund for non-transportation uses. A portion of the diverted funds would be returned for roads.
Advocates for protecting highway money point out that during the 2008 fiscal year $82 million in fuel tax revenues were rerouted from the Department of Transportation to several state agencies. Another 12 percent of fuel tax money was sent to municipalities.
During the next five years, the bill – HB1618 – would phase in caps on the transfer of highway trust funds.
The reallocation would begin July 2009, with the threshold being amended July 2011 and July 2013. At that time, transfers from the highway fund to the Department of Safety would be capped at 26 percent. Another 1.25 percent would be paid to other agencies.
To view other legislative activities of interest for New Hampshire in 2008, click here.
– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor