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Northwest News Network

Idaho Senate To Prepare Counter Offer To House On Roads Funding

The Senate Transportation Committee takes testimony on infrastructure funding.
The Senate Transportation Committee takes testimony on infrastructure funding.

The Idaho Senate is teeing up for a new round of negotiations Monday on how to fund much-needed repairs on roads and bridges.

Lawmakers are going into their second week of overtime. But the two chambers of the legislature haven’t been able to come to an agreement on one of their top priorities this year: raising an estimated $262 million for roads. The Senate declined to hear a House package that would have raised the gas tax by 7 cents.

House leadership has now effectively told the Senate: it’s your turn.

“Well you guys have been over there scrambling eggs for almost three months now,” said Republican Sen. Chuck Winder. He sits on the Senate Transportation Committee.

“Hopefully as we go through this process we’ll inch ever closer to a mutually agreeable solution,” he added.

The Transportation Committee is taking a modest bill that would raise registration fees and sending it to the full Senate to be amended. The idea is to have senators build on the measure with other provisions that will get the state closer to that $262 million figure.

Anything the Senate comes up with would then have to pass muster in the House -- and with the governor.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network