Maggie O'Mara: Behind the Scenes

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Legislative Session DAY 114

by Maggie O'Mara

Bio | Email | Follow: @maggiektvb7


Posted on May 5, 2009 at 6:32 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 22 at 11:10 AM


Seal Idaho.jpg

(Maybe! We're getting awfully close...)

The 2009 session is now just 5 DAYS short of making Idaho history! This year's session could be the longest EVER. Today is officially day 114 of the session, the longest session in our state history was 118 days.

Yesterday House lawmakers returned to the Capitol Annex - five days after saying "See YA!" to the Senate and the Governor. BUT, these lawmakers can't get out of this that easy... they are constitutionally bound to continue until the Senate adjourns as well.


NO budging on the GAS TAX

House leaders are in a tax fight with the Senate and the Governor. THEY won't call it a day until there's a plan in place to raise millions of dollars for road repairs and maintenance.

Here's what it comes down to: there's a 240 million yearly shortfall in road maintenance funding! That's a lot of DOUGH to make up. The Governor's latest solution is to increase the gas tax by 6 cents during a span of two years, starting in 2011.

6 cents.JPG

(Question: Will the economy be better by then?)

The 6 cent tax would raise $52 million dollars annually to help offset the $240 million annual shortfall. Right now, the gas tax is 25 cents per gallon. If the Governor has his way, it will be 28 cents in 2011, and 31 cents in 2012.

Rep. Ken Roberts, House Majority Caucus Chairman

House Majority Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts told reporters his chamber wasn't budging from its stance that a recession is no time to raise taxes.

We'll see what happens today... but this session could go on to make Idaho history!

What's your solution to this battle?