As I was reading through the House and Senate passed budgets over the weekend drawing up some comparisons, I noticed a nice little slush fund for the DOT board…
FUNDS FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, SPOT SAFETY, AND TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM PROJECTS
SECTION 27.3. Of the funds appropriated by this act to the Department of Transportation in fiscal year 2007-2008, nine million three hundred thirty-eight thousand four hundred four dollars ($9,338,404) shall be used for economic development transportation projects recommended by the member of the Board of Transportation representing the Division in which the project is to be constructed in consultation with the Division Engineer and approved by the Board of Transportation. These funds, in addition to any remaining funds which were appropriated to the Department pursuant to Section 28.27 of S.L. 2005-276, shall be allocated equally among the 14 Divisions.
The Secretary of Transportation shall not prevent or delay the implementation of any projects approved by the Board of Transportation pursuant to this section.
The Senate version which gives each member approximately $667,000 while the House version gives each BOT member $1 million. Basically, each of the 14 members of the Board of Transportation gets a nice little chunk of money to use for "economic development" in his or her region.
Hmm… I wonder how much it would cost to get the road repaved in front of my house?