Iowa Governor Finds Money to Fix Roads

Tom Warne Report, 4 February 2012

Associated Press – January 24, 2012

The governor of Iowa has announced a plan of $50 million in cost savings to benefit road construction in the state by merging some government functions, better management and cooperation. Some of the efficiencies require legislative approval and will address a shortfall of about $215 million annually for critical transportation needs.

Gov. Terry Branstad identified the list of savings and renewed his vow not to propose a fuel tax hike this session.

“By moving forward with these changes I think that we will do a lot towards showing the citizens of Iowa that we are doing this in the most efficient way possible,” Branstad said. Streamlining how the state’s Road Use Tax Fund, which receives about $1.2 billion annually, is administered and $11 million in one-time cost savings by improving asset management between the DOT and local government. An additional $10 million would come from implementing budget practices “focused on the delivery of projects ahead of schedule and under budget.”

The list includes $33 million in annual savings and $17 million in one-time savings. House and Senate committees plan to consider the ideas this week.

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