Transportation Budget Clears Committee, Full House on the Same Day

The House version of the Transportation Cabinet operating budget and road plans easily passed a House committee on Tuesday morning and was immediately moved to the House floor on Tuesday afternoon.

House Bill 265, the budget for the Transportation Cabinet, passed the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee on Tuesday with a committee substitute by a vote of 19-1, with two members passing. The bill later cleared the House floor with a 95-0 vote.

Transportation Deputy Secretary Mike Hancock said there were several “grave concerns” with the amended version of the executive branch transportation budget.

“Primarily, with the deletion of $300 million of general funds, and $150 million in federal GARVEE Bond authorizations for the Mountain Parkway and the I-69 Ohio River crossing,” Hancock said, adding the projects are included in the biennial highway plan, but not the budget.

More questions were raised regarding funding for the Mountain Parkway on the House floor on Tuesday afternoon.

Hancock said there is also concern about a reduction in funding for highway maintenance. The secretary’s contingency account was also reduced in the House budget, a move Hancock said after programming would leave the account with just $5 million each year in the biennium.

House Budget Chair Jason Petrie, R-Elkton, said he understood the preference to have the projects in the general fund, but that the funds would have the safe effect whether in the general fund or the road plan.

The committee also passed House Bill 266, with a committee amendment which acts as the 2-year state road plan with 1,700 projects, and programmed to 104%. That legislation cleared the committee with a 20-0 vote and later passed the full House with 93-0 vote.

Petrie again mentioned that, as with the budget, this is the beginning of the process, and there is time to work out any issues that arise.

The House also passed the out year road projects via joint resolutions HJR 91 and HJR 92, which could be amended again via resolution next year.