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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

GARVEE sails through Senate

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).


overtheroadguy said...

Next year I hope those southern Idaho legislators remember that we supported their GARVEE Funding this year and it's our turn next year. It's amazing how their funding sails through the legislature and north Idaho's funding always is a fight to the bitter end.

KMPO Staff said...

Hmmm... why does that sound familiar? Oh yeah, because it's pretty much the same thing we hear on the other side of the border about Eastern and Western Washington. Well, we could always form our own state of Easter Washington and North Idaho, as is proposed pretty much every year, but then there wouldn't be ANY money for our state.