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News ReleaseMarch 25, 2015

Legislators should "listen to their constituents," restore road funds

The Louisiana Legislature should "listen to their constituents" and reject Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget proposal to strip more than $70 million from transportation projects to pay for state police operations and salaries, the state's top transportation advocacy group said on Wednesday.


Kenneth Perret, president of the Louisiana Good Roads and Transportation Association, noted that the budget proposal for the state's 2016 fiscal year was presented on the same day that LSU released a survey that 73 percent of Louisiana citizens want the state to spend more money on roads and bridges.


"More does not mean less," Perret said. "The time has come for Louisiana's legislators to listen to their constituents and spend transportation taxes on transportation projects."


The LSU Public Policy Research Lab's Louisiana Survey: 2015, parts of which were released Tuesday, asked voters if they want more, less or the same spending on roads, bridges and highways. Seventy-three percent said more money should be spent, while only five percent said less money should be spent.


In the 1980s, voters decided to dedicate state motor fuel taxes of 20 cents-per-gallon to the Transportation Trust Fund to pay for transportation projects. The tax does not adjust for inflation, it has not been increased since 1990, and the state has since accumulated a transportation project backlog of more than $12 billion. Despite the voters' will and public opinion, the state has used  $418 million dollars of the gasoline tax since 2005 to pay for state police operations, which traditionally have been paid through the general fund.


"Good Roads supports the work of the Louisiana State Police, but we don't believe their operations should be funded out of the Transportation Trust Fund," Perret said. "That was not the intent of the voters, and we now see that is not the will of the people. We call on the legislature to restore those funds to the trust fund and find other ways to raise revenue for the state police."

Louisiana Good Roads and Transportation Association is a statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to fostering and promoting a program of planning, design, construction and maintenance of an adequate transportation system, sufficiently financed, which will conveniently and safely serve the transportation needs of the people of Louisiana.

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