The Idaho Senate passed a bill authorizing the sale of $134 million in bonds, which will be used to improve highways in Southern Idaho. While most of the money authorized this year will be spent down south, lawmakers said that next year a significant amount of GARVEE bond dollars will be used to improve Highway 95 between Garwood and Sagle. Read the whole story here.
The Coeur d'Alene Press story (above) indicates that GARVEE passage was not very controversial in the Senate, but that was not the case in the House of Representatives last week. Idaho Public Television focuses on the GARVEE debate in the House here on Idaho Reports.
This is one of those issues that has merit no matter what side you come down on. On one hand, some lawmakers argue that our state should not risk going into debt to finance infrastructure. On the other hand, most lawmakers argue that bonding now to build these major projects saves taxpayers in the long run because it heads off the dramatically escallating cost of materials.
For those North Idaho folks who oppose the GARVEE method of financing, does it help to know that next year the long awaited widening of Highway 95 will recieve the lion's share of GARVEE dollars?(I know that is obvious baiting, but hey, we're trying to generate comments here).