NH Lawmaker Stalemate Could Cause Spike In Infrastructure Costs

November 2, 2013 1:38 PM
NH Lawmaker Stalemate Could Cause Spike In Infrastructure Costs
" CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A legislative stalemate over raising the gas tax and legalizing a casino could jeopardize the state’s biggest transportation priority and drive highway contractors out of New Hampshire to look for work in nearby states willing to fund infrastructure improvements.

The New Hampshire House passed a gas tax this year that the Senate killed, while the Senate passed a casino bill that the House rejected. Transportation Commissioner Chris Clement said this week that he’s worried funding won’t be available to finish expanding Interstate 93 — the top priority — as well as make other highway improvements.

“They’ve got to follow the work,” Clement said.

Lawmakers hoping to keep the I-93 project alive say funding must be in place next year to keep contractors from seeking guaranteed work elsewhere. They point to Massachusetts, which has just begun an effort to pump billions of dollars into its transportation network over the next decade.

They’ll try to break the stalemate next year with bills to raise the state’s 18-cent gas and diesel tax and to legalize casino gambling. Some money from a casino could be used for highway projects "

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