Times-News: Transportation spending, governing changes heading to Cooper

From the Times-News:

The General Assembly gave its final approval on Wednesday to a North Carolina transportation funding and governing overhaul following a recent stinging audit and COVID-19-related revenue declines at the Department of Transportation.

The House agreed 99-17 to the Senate version of the bill, which also would let legislative leaders pick six members of the Board of Transportation. Currently all 19 voting members of the board are chosen by Gov. Roy Cooper.

But Republican lawmakers say more people with different perspectives are needed on a panel that had become more ceremonial in recent years.

Cooper, a Democrat, had warned GOP lawmakers last week against a “power grab” in the DOT funding measure. Cooper’s office hasn’t said what he thinks about the bill heading to his desk. . .

The measure locates over $600 million in spending cuts during the next fiscal year to deal with a cash shortage that began last year at DOT and got exacerbated in the spring as gas and vehicles sales taxes plummeted during the pandemic.

The revenue drop dried up construction and required department-wide furloughs. The bill also locates additional revenues by retooling debt options and by keeping the gas tax from falling as scheduled in early 2021. . .

One thought on “Times-News: Transportation spending, governing changes heading to Cooper

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  1. With this dire financial outlook, we can be sure that none of the trees, or any of the vegetation promised by NCDOT after the NHL Project is completed, will ever be replaced. They said they were going to plant trees along Upward Road when they did that one. But check it out— nothing is there—and that was in better times.
    The Village had better start saving for trees and other forms of vegetation when the HLR Project comes to fruition. Otherwise It will resemble the Shepherd Street – Erkwood round-about—like the entrance to an interstate.
    Let’s hope the current—and future—financial situation causes the legislature to put some scrutiny into projects that have already been approved and analyze their importance in the framework of reality. That should include NHLR. Not only do they have this budget override, but the funds will be drying up as gas tax revenues fall.
    Maybe Chuck Edwards should be informed. He probably knows how much we’d like that one off our backs.

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