JFAC sets transportation department budget for FY 13

Betsy Z. Russell
The Spokesman Review
In a series of unanimous votes, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee has set a budget for the Idaho Transportation Department for next year that's down 5.5 percent in total funds from this year, mainly due to a 13.9-percent drop in federal funds.

Those funds were up 20 percent this year over the previous year, in which they fell by 7.8 percent. The budget includes an $11.8 million increase in contract construction and right-of-way acquisition. It closely tracks Gov. Butch Otter's recommendation for ITD, which receives no state general funds.

The budget includes paying the 2013 payment on GARVEE bonds for highway projects, for which the state share comes to $4.3 million, while federal funds cover $50 million. It doesn't include any additional bonding.

Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, noted that legislation has passed the Senate to allow bridge improvements to be included in the bonding program, but only within the current $855 million in authorized bonding. Legislative and ITD board approval still would be needed.

Published 3-2-2012