On Tuesday, TRIP, a non-profit transportation organization based in Washington D.C., released new data on Wyoming's roads, highways and bridges.
The future of Wyoming's transportation system is uncertain. TRIP says it all depends on how much the state is willing to spend. "Our reports are based on gathering information from state and federal agencies... Currently [Wyoming] has a $110 million annual shortfall in the amount of money needed to help keep, roads, highways and bridges in the condition they're in now" says Frank Moretti, Director of Research and Policy. Improving them will cost over $330 million.
The problem for the state is coming up with the money. House Bill 69 is one solution. It would generate $70 million by raising the state's fuel tax from $.14 to $.24. It passed the House last week and is in the Senate this week.
Senator Ray Peterson - (R) Senate District 19 - is against the bill. He wants to see the state dip into its Permanent Mineral Trust Fund.
Senator Peterson isn't sure how House Bill 69 will do in the Senate but he know the state's transportation system needs work. Finding the funding, like all things in state politics, will take compromise.
House Bill 69 has been read and is now in the Senate's Transportation Committee.