Do we need transportation issues solved with common sense and money we already have? I say yes.
You asked your Legislature for innovative transportation financing solutions to make improvements without impacting your bottom line. You also asked that we re-establish your trust and spend transportation dollars only on transportation infrastructure.
We heard you and put the framework in place, but we still need your permission to allow particular state revenue streams to reach our roads and bridges.
We are asking for this permission in the form of two constitutional amendments on the Oct. 24 ballot.
These amendments would authorize using existing state revenues to build new roads and bridges and repair the ones we have. Neither amendment would create a new tax or raise an existing one; nor would the money be spent on anything but transportation infrastructure.
Both amendments would, however, allow for increases in what the state spends on roads and bridges.
Constitutional Amendment No. 1 would permit a portion of the mineral revenues currently going to the Budget Stabilization Fund — often called the Rainy Day Fund — to be utilized for roads and bridges once the rainy day fund was completely full.
Constitutional Amendment No. 2 would authorize the treasurer to invest state funds in the state infrastructure bank that was created this past session.
The treasurer already invests these funds on Wall Street, but this amendment would allow him to invest in Louisiana roads and bridges. If approved, these dollars could be invested in the infrastructure bank, which would in turn make loans to local and regional governments for transportation infrastructure.
I ask that you please vote yes on these two constitutional amendments so we can take critical steps in improving our roads and bridges.
State Rep. Karen St. Germain
chairwoman, House Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works