WKU Public Radio News Staff
Tue April 15, 2014
Lawmakers Reach Deal To Fund Roads and Bridges Projects
Update 5:38 p.m.
House and Senate lawmakers have agreed to a $4.1 billion road spending plan on the Legislature's final day that, if approved, would avoid an expensive special session.
The plan includes $5.2 billion worth of projects throughout the state. But as much as 25 percent of that money will not be spent. Lawmakers said they like to include a cushion in case some projects are delayed because of environmental concerns or problems acquiring land.
The state Senate is scheduled to vote on the road plan first before sending it to the House of Representatives. Lawmakers have until midnight to pass the bill.
State lawmakers say they are close to an agreement on how to spend $1.2 billion in state tax dollars on road construction.
Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo told reporters Tuesday morning that House and Senate negotiators have reached a deal while Republican Senate Transportation chairman Ernie Harris said lawmakers were close to an agreement. Harris said that it was premature to say lawmakers have reached a deal.
It's unclear how much the total construction plan, which includes federal and state dollars, would cost. Lawmakers have until midnight to reach an agreement. If they don't, Stumbo said the governor will likely call the legislators back to Frankfort for a special session.