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House Budget Committee Passes Road Plan

The Kentucky House budget committee has approved the next two-year road plan for the commonwealth.

The committee easily passed the plan and the Transportation Cabinet's operating budget today.

The road plan funds many of Governor Steve Beshear's big initiatives, such as widening both Interstate 65 around Bowling Green and the Mountain Parkway.

Bill sponsor Sannie Overly didn't offer specific details about the committee's changes to the measures, but says there are some.

"Well I mean a lot is sort of a vague term. It's not identical, there are changes," she says.

Like the funding mechanism for the I-65 widening. Beshear originally proposed state funds be used for the project, but the House's version uses federal funds.

Another of those projects is the Louisville Ohio River Bridges Project, which will receive one hundred million dollars over the next two years.

But Overly says that just because the project was included in the plan, that doesn't mean the House necessarily approves the bridge's controversial financial plan.

"We are not today in any way, we are not approving that financing plan, we are voting on any sort of tolls, we are not agreeing with anything in the financial plans," she says.

Overly's comments didn't stop one Louisville lawmaker, Jim Wayne, from expressing his displeasure with the bridge financial plan and likely tolls during the committee meeting.

The bills now head to the full House for a vote.

Kenny Colston is the Frankfort Bureau Chief for Kentucky Public Radio (a collaborative effort of public radio stations in Kentucky). Colston has covered Kentucky's Capitol and state government since 2010. He is a Louisville native, and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. When he's not tracking down stories about Kentucky politics, you can often find him watching college sports, particularly football.
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