ELECTION 2015: Louisiana voters to decide on transportation questions

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 9/8/2015

Voters in Louisiana will head to the ballot box in about six weeks to decide on issues that include road and bridge project funding.

Two questions were added to the Oct. 24 ballot after gaining approval this spring from the Louisiana Legislature. State lawmakers endorsed putting the questions on the ballot to help address a $12 billion backlog to pay for infrastructure needs.

Amendment 1 on the fall ballot will ask voters whether to steer state mineral revenue, which includes oil and gas, into a transportation account.

Currently, about $21 million in mineral money is instead deposited into the state’s rainy day fund.

If approved by voters, about $21 million in revenue during the next five years would be allocated for the state highway system and the Louisiana Intermodal Connector Program. The transfers would begin in fiscal year 2017-18.

Up to $100 million annually would be applied to transportation in later years.

Amendment 2 on the statewide ballot will ask voters whether they support setting up a state transportation infrastructure bank.

The setup would cover the use of public funds to establish the new account. All money in the new account would be used solely for transportation projects.

Infrastructure banks are in place in 30 states. The banks are owned by states and offer loans and credit to public and private transportation infrastructure projects.

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