One state lawmaker wants assurances that Governor Jim Doyle won't raid the transportation fund. As conferees met Monday to discuss the budget repair deal, state Senator Scott Fitzgerald raised a concern. The Juneau Republican wants assurances from the governor that he won't use his partial veto to fix the budget fix — by raiding the transportation fund. "For us to move forward on this without having those assurances, without having that nailed down . . . that's ridiculous," said Fitzgerald.
Assembly Majority Leader Mike Huebsch, describing the situation as a "Catch 22," said he's discussed that with Doyle, but received no such assurances: "one of the reasons we wnat veto assurances is to make sure that there's no money taken from the transportation fund, yet the only way I was going to get veto assurances was if I agreed to take money from the transportation fund."
The budget deal, to be voted on this week (a Senate floor session is set for today, and the Assembly is in Wednesday), would take $50 million from the transportation fund to be replaced with borrowed money, which will allow projects to go forward this summer. But Doyle could, if he chooses to, use his veto power to dip deeper into the highway money. Fitzgerald says lawmakers should vote to override any such attempt.