Tom Warne Report, 24 January 2012
Governors of two neighboring states are pushing for transportation funding for their region, announcing plans to solve their infrastructure needs. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said in his State of the State speech that improvements need to be made to improve the efficiency of the state’s transportation network.
“That means roads on which traffic and freight move freely, ports that handle bigger ships, and airports that process people and packages more efficiently,” Deal said in his Jan. 10 remarks. He is also urging voters in 12 state regions to approve a 1-cent sales tax referendum for a predetermined list of road, bridge and transit projects when they cast ballots this summer.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is also urging voters to approve more transportation funding in his state, with plans to borrow up to $2 billion for road and bridge projects. Alabama voters rejected a November 2010 plan to transfer $1 billion from the Alabama Trust Fund to pay off road and bridge improvement bonds. The fund receives money from natural gas wells drilled along the coastline in state-owned waters.
Gov. Bentley announced to the media in Birmingham that the state transportation department is moving forward with plans to build toll roads in south Alabama. State lawmakers will work on the specifics of the governor’s plan and other transportation bills when the session convenes Feb. 7.