Advocates decry transportation trust fund targeting

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Advocates for infrastructure and transportation spending were expectedly unhappy Thursday with the House’s announcement that it will target trust funds to the tune of more than $210 million in the transportation and economic development part of the budget alone, hoping to steer the money to other needs. Some portion of that would come out of the main transportation trust fund that is filled mainly by gas tax money and typically goes to fund road building and other transport projects  – when lawmakers don’t divert the money to make the budget balance. The House released its big picture plans for spending in various parts of the budget on Thursday, and the proposed “raid” of the transportation trust fund drew immediate criticism. “We’re just disappointed the House has chosen to sweep a fund that we think is absolutely crucial to job creation and getting us out of this economic malaise that we’re in,” said Matt Ubben, president of Floridians for Better Transportation. The Senate is yet to release its planned allocations for the budget.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.