From the office of State Rep. Guy Liebmann
OKLAHOMA CITY (August 16, 2007) - State Rep. Guy Liebmann, chairman of the House General Government & Transportation Committee, is filing legislation to ensure road funding is increased by at least $50 million each year, the Oklahoma City Republican announced today.
"Maintenance of roads and bridges is a core function of government and there's no reason to place an artificial limit on how much we can spend in that area," Liebmann said. "Oklahoma's roads have been neglected for decades and it's going to take a serious effort to rehabilitate them." Legislation approved in 2006 provided for annual increases of up to $50 million per year for Oklahoma roads until $200 million in new funding was achieved.
However, the law contained a "trigger" that limited the annual increase to just $17.5 million if total state tax collections grew less than 3 percent in a year. This year, early revenue estimates indicated growth was below the 3-percent target and only $17.5 million in new money was approved for road-and-bridge maintenance. But revised estimates later showed state tax collections grew more than 3 percent.
"We had the opportunity to provide a significant boost to the road budget this session but the 'trigger' law thwarted those efforts," Liebmann said. "I want to ensure that doesn't happen again." Liebmann's bill would eliminate the 3-percent trigger and require that at least $50 million in new funding be provided for roads each year until the full $200 million goal is achieved.
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