Opinion: Shifting money to Road Fund is going down a slippery slope for W.Va.

By Phil Kabler

Charleston Gazette-Mail Statehouse Reporter

Last week’s one-day resumption of the special session had the feel of a conference where the keynote speaker is running late, and the emcee has to ad-lib for 20 minutes: It was all time-filler.

The day’s agenda included legislation moving another $54 million of unappropriated tax revenue to the state Road Fund for secondary road repairs, which as they say in Pittsburgh, is going down a slippy slope.

Over the years, governors and legislatures have been reticent to use general revenue money for the Road Fund because — as we’ve seen recently — the expense of road building and maintenance is so extreme and the demands from years of deferred maintenance are so great, that once you break the precedent and start putting tax dollars into Highways, it can easily suck up massive amounts of funding, to the detriment of programs that rely on general revenue funds.

Of course, this governor and this Legislature aren’t concerned about potential long-term harm to these programs — they’re under the gun to get as many roads fixed as possible before Nov. 3, 2020. …

Read more: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/columnists/phil_kabler/statehouse-beat-shifting-money-to-road-fund-is-going-down/article_32cb8427-1f8d-5f1a-8acc-5e187d2d1b14.html

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