State Senator Unveils Road Stimulus Bill

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email


More than 27,000 jobs. That's how many jobs Senator Lowell Barron claims his Alabama Jobs Stimulus plan would create.

"This is a plan that works," said Barron.

The details. Senator Barron wants to take $100 million dollars out of the Alabama Trust Fund every year for the next 10 years. He says the cash would build highways, repair roads and bridges throughout the state. One estimate shows 1,400 bridges in Alabama do not meet federal standards.

"I'm embarrassed to drive on some of these roads," said Senator Barron.

The senator insists this is what he calls a 'win-win' situation, not a Democratic or Republican problem but a statewide issue. Under his proposal, $25 million dollars per year would go to Alabama counties and cities for road work, and the remaining $75 million would go to the Alabama Department of Transportation.

Governor Bob Riley's press secretary Jeff Emerson says Mr. Riley likes the concept, even supported a similar bill submitted by Barron in the last legislative session but not comfortable with some of the logistics of the proposal.

"It may not be a good idea to automatically withdraw $100 million a year because you never know how the trust account will do every year," said Emerson.

Senator Barron says the Alabama Trust Fund or the so-called Rainy Day Fund has around $2.7 billion dollars in it.

This will be Senator Barron's second attempt to get the bill passed.

Even if Republicans and Democrats come together and pass the measure, the people of Alabama would still have to approve it in a special election next November.

The Alabama legislature meets in mid-January.

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