Two years ago the legislature passed an extensive infrastructure package to improve our state's roads and bridges. Senate Bill 23 makes a minor structural change in the previous legislation but makes a major difference in improving roads and bridges. The changes allow for two things to happen.
They allow the state to loan local governments the funds necessary to repair and improve highways and bridges. This money is allocated from a collective total of 25% of the state highway fund.
They allow the transportation commission to promulgate rules to determine how the loans will be handed out.
For SDFU this is a no brainer. Counties and other local governments often struggle for the funds necessary to address much needed repairs on roads and bridges, especially in times of emergency. In the case of an emergency, say a bridge washes out, the state (under SB 23) would have the ability to loan that local government to take of the bridge immediately instead of waiting for until that local government had the ability to generate the revenue on its own.
Roads and bridges our vital to our rural communities and to our producers. Fortunately the Senate shares that sentiment as it passed 5-1 in its Senate committee with Senator Stace Nelson as the only dissenting vote. As of 1/19 SB 23 has received a due pass vote on the Senate floor of 32-1 and awaits action in the House.
For more information on the legislation, click the link below: