West Virginia lawmakers OK highway bond referendum
West Virginia lawmakers have agreed to hold a voter referendum this year on issuing $1.6 billion in bonds to rebuild state highways and bridges.
The House has adopted the Senate language for the referendum that removes references to specific taxes. The House voted 84-11 on Saturday.
Gov. Jim Justice proposed a major roads program using bonds to restore infrastructure and put thousands of West Virginians to work.
He proposed increasing the gasoline tax by 4.5 cents a gallon and raising some Department of Motor Vehicle fees and expressway tolls to support bonds issued over four years.
The state would also apply for matching federal highway funds.
The Senate passed legislation to raise the gas tax two weeks ago, which doesn’t require voter approval, but the House hasn’t advanced it.