The following is my column that will appear in the Mt. Vernon Gazette, The Mt. Vernon Voice and Patch in the week of February 26, 2013.
The Final Week: U.S. 1 Funding Secured and A Transportation Deal
This week, the General Assembly ended with a budget and two major policy changes - a historic transportation bill and a Medicaid expansion process that I will discuss next week.
The budget reported and now on the Governor’s desk contained a $2 million line item to pay for a Tier I Study of U.S. 1 pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act that I’ve been fighting to secure for four years. This is the next legally required step towards laying the groundwork for actual major improvements to U.S. 1 between Woodlawn and I-495.The transportation bill (HB2313) has statewide and local components. The statewide component repeals the $0.175 gas tax at the pump and replaces it with a 3.5% unleaded tax and 6.0% diesel tax on wholesalers equal to about a $0.10-0.12/gallon tax at the pump.