A motion from Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, to send $17 million in stimulus money to local highway districts just passed the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC) on an 11-9 vote. JFAC had been debating between three alternatives on how to distribute the money.
The first would have the money distributed, whether to state or local roads, based on the greatest public safety needs. The second idea, from Keough and Rep. Jim Patrick, would give all the money to local highway districts, and the third would target the money on road maintenance, divided by formula between state and local roads.
Before the vote, Keough told the joint committee, “I have heard from local jurisdictions that they feel shut out from the current distribution of stimulus funds. … The perception from local highway entities is that they’re not being treated fairly.”