The 2019 General Assembly roller coaster has come to a stop, and we have gotten off to catch our breath! Here’s an update from our staff on some key issues affecting our region.
The biggest story for the Valley this year was I-81– with seven bills and two budget amendments introduced. Ideas about what to fix and how to pay for it were wide ranging. In the end, no dedicated funding options for I-81 survived – not tolls, not state-wide or regional gas taxes, nor sales taxes.
What did survive was the list of safety projects developed through a 2018 study, the structure to set up a fund for future I-81 money, and a committee to make important upcoming decisions on funding and project prioritization.
Lastly on I-81, Delegate Landes had a successful budget amendment that shifts money to safety service patrols that assist drivers on the interstates with a special emphasis on I-81.
The Alliance will stay involved through 2019 to make sure future policies are cost effective, fix safety and congestion problems, and respect the extraordinary natural and historic resources of the Valley.
How did funding for critical conservation programs fair in the 2019 Session? Read about that here.