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  • Writer's pictureBrian Boner

Prioritizing Basic Functions of Government

Wyoming’s highways are the arteries of our state’s economic vitality. They are also in increasingly dire need of attention. Last year’s winter storms revealed the frailty of our infrastructure, leaving our roads battered and bruised. For years, the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) has been in preservation mode. As a state, we must recognize the urgency of the situation and take decisive action to ensure the safety and prosperity of our citizens.

This budget session, I am prioritizing getting more resources into highway maintenance. One budget amendment allocates an additional $500,000 from the general fund for an external consultant to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the Wyoming Department of Transportation's practices and procedures. This study will assess current practices, funding allocation procedures, and the impact of the highway fund deficit. By investing in this assessment, we ensure that future investments are guided by a comprehensive understanding of the transportation department's operations.

I am also advocating for diverting some savings into highway maintenance. In this budget cycle, we are on pace to save hundreds of millions of dollars into various savings accounts. The Transportation Committee has spent the past year looking into raising fuel taxes and instituting toll roads at the direction of legislative leadership. I believe we should at least consider diverting some savings into the highway fund so we don't have to raise taxes later.

It's evident that our highways require urgent attention. Last year's tough winter highlighted the deficiencies in our infrastructure, and superficial maintenance efforts only get us so far. Neglecting our highways now will only lead to greater costs in the future.

Properly maintained highways enhance safety, support commerce, and improve the quality of life for Wyoming residents. This budget amendment is a crucial step towards addressing Wyoming's highway needs. By diverting some savings and conducting a comprehensive assessment, we set the stage for a more resilient and prosperous future.

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