In his “State of the State” address to the Idaho legislature on January 9, Governor Brad Little (R) (above) said he plans to make major transportation investments statewide as part his proposed budget; an effort dubbed “Making Generational Investments in Critical Infrastructure.”
[Above photo by the Idaho Governor’s Office]
“Last year, we put nearly half a billion dollars into local roads, bridges, and airports. We took a major bite out of the backlog of deficient bridges that local governments have struggled for years to repair. And we did it without raising taxes or fees,” the governor said.
“That buys us not just property tax relief but safer roads, less drive time, and less congestion,” he explained. “Now I am proposing even more for local bridges and new, ongoing funding for transportation safety and capacity to build on our success.”
Gov. Little said his proposed 2023 budget builds off those previous investments with new funding endeavors, including:
- Investing $96.8 million to fully fund the known ongoing transportation safety and capacity gap. “This will make Idaho roads safer for drivers with capacity enhancements and safety features like widened and realigned roadways and turn lanes,” he said.
- Adding $200 million as the second tranche of an effort to improve local system bridges, $35 million to improve airports throughout the state, and $10 million for pedestrian and safety projects. “This investment will improve approximately one-third of deficient local bridges to improve safety for all Idahoans,” Gov. Little noted.
- Reserving $100 million for economically significant local transportation projects that are beyond the reach of local government finances.
- Pays off all callable debt in the Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles or GARVEE transportation bond program for the 2014 bond series ($37.5 million), averting interest and freeing up additional ongoing transportation funding.