Peggy Wilson Proposes Alaska Transportation Infrastructure Fund for Fall Ballot
Wrangell Rep. wants to make travel easier for Alaskans
Friday, February 5, 2010, Juneau, Alaska – House Transportation Chair Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell, today introduced HJR 42, asking voters to amend the Alaska State Constitution and establish the Alaska Transportation Infrastructure Fund. Wilson also introduced HB 329, which would designate the fund to generate from a $1 billion endowment, and receive revenue from the fuel tax and vehicle registrations—pending voter approval of the constitutional amendment.
Wilson says there are a variety of reasons to improve Alaska’s transportation infrastructure. “Transportation is the basis of our economy. It provides for the movement of goods and services, from the florist delivering flowers, to people going from place to place,” Wilson said. “Approximately 89% of our transportation funding comes from the federal government. There is going to be a federal Transportation Reauthorization bill in the next year and everything we are hearing is unfavorable for states with small populations.”
HJR 42 asks voters to make a decision on whether to create a dedicated fund for State of Alaska capital transportation projects. State-funded projects do not have to follow the often expensive processes and procedures and lengthy schedule that the federal government requires. The initiative would allow the state more opportunity to take advantage of both cost-saving and time reduction of state-funded project completion.
“We need to continue to improve our transportation infrastructure,” Wilson said. “By establishing this fund, we create jobs, build roads, and provide opportunities for economic development and gain access to new areas and resources.”
HJR 42 and HB 329 have been referred to the House Transportation Committee.
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