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Final Senate Approval for Transportation Funding

April 24, 2002
By: Missy Shelton
State Capital Bureau

A 489 million dollar transportation funding package gets final approval from the state senate.

Missy Shelton reports.

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The very chamber that last year stopped efforts to put a transportation funding package before voters is the same chamber that gave overwhleming support to a funding proposal Wednesday.

The sponsor of the package Republican Morris Westfall urged lawmakers to put aside anger with the Highway Department and vote for the funding proposal.

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Senators heeded Westfall's advice and approved the funding plan by a vote of 27 to 5.

The proposal includes a 3-8ths cent sales tax increase and a 6 cent gas tax hike.

It's the sales tax increase that caused Republican Larry Rohrbach to vote against the plan.

He says it unfairly targets the poor.

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Other opposition came from Republican Michael Gibbons.

He says there are several reasons he can't support the proposal.

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Accountability is one of the major issues that concerns Westfall.

He says he's willing to trust the highway commission because in recent months, the governor appointed two new members.

Westfall says no package will please everyone.

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Having gained final approval from the Senate, the bill now moves to the House for consideration.

If both chambers approve the proposal, it would go before the voters later this year.

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