Transportation legislation moves forward to House floor - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Transportation legislation moves forward to House floor

House Transportation Committee (Source: WAFB) House Transportation Committee (Source: WAFB)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Rep. Karen St. Germain believes she has a plan to fix the problems on our roads and bridges.

Her bill to create a fund financing state transportation projects is on its way to the House floor after passing a committee Tuesday.

Named the Louisiana State Transportation Infrastructure Bank, Rep. St. Germain says the fund would loan money to local governments who can promise to pay it back after making upgrades.

"Real money needs to be put into the infrastructure and capacity, not only in the Baton Rouge area, but all over the state," said Rep. St. Germain, D-Pierre Part.

She is also backing a ten-year, $7 billion tax hike to build 15 major projects, including a new bridge over the Mississippi just downriver from Baton Rouge. The bridge would connect LA 1 to LA 30 in one of three proposed locations.

Rep. St. Germain says the bridge would be paid for with a penny increase to the state sales tax, raising $675 million each year.

However, Gov. Jindal said last week he is against any new taxes, unless they can be offset by spending cuts elsewhere.

"I know my critics contend that we've cut taxes too much," said the governor to the state legislature on April 13th, day one of the session.

The bill awaits presentation to a house committee.

"I get calls everyday. If it's not a pothole, it's about a delay in traffic and everything in between," said Rep. St. Germain.

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