Kentucky lawmakers working to finalize plan to build and repair roads and bridges

Republished from WEKU.

There are lots of issues still percolating around the Capitol grounds in Frankfort with the 2024 General Assembly session end in sight. A final state road plan is still in the works.

The Kentucky House has approved its version of the six-year highway plan. It covers road and bridge repairs and new projects. Senate Transportation Committee Chair Jimmy Higdon said county officials and state lawmakers have requests, but not all can be met.

“We have to make some tough decisions on what projects we will do how many projects can the Transportation get out the door in a year and do we have the money to pay for all that,” said Higdon.

The Lebanon GOP Senator said it’s about $3 billion each year of the biennium with around a billion of that in federal dollars. House Transportation Committee Chair Johnny Blanton said a good road plan is one that meets many needs and covers urban and rural areas equally.

The role electric vehicle drivers will have on helping to finance state road and bridge projects is still evolving. Starting this year, Kentucky EV owners are being levied a $120 user fee and $60 for hybrid drivers.

In a strategy, partly to address car emissions, the Biden Administration is pushing for more EVs. Blanton said he’s not anti-EV but adds that he is pro-market.

“I don’t think the government, whether it’s state or federal government should be pushing this one way or the other, demanding that we produce X number of this type or that type. I think we let the market dictate that and if the people want them, produce them and sell them to them. If they don’t don’t force it on them,” said Blanton.

The Salyersville GOP lawmaker said it’s still relatively new and people need time to adapt. Higdon, meanwhile, noted the current EV and hybrid user fees are equivalent roughly to the gas tax for 12,000 miles annually. Both Higdon and Blanton say further refinement of an EV policy to support road work is likely in the years ahead.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.