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Infrastructure authority bill could be on special session call

May 22, 2009

The Herald-Leader is reporting that Kentucky lawmakers are preparing for a special legislative session in June to address slots at tracks and the creation of a transportation infrastructure authority to fund “mega” roads and bridges projects.

Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville (LRC photo)

Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville (LRC photo)

According to the article by the H-L’s Beth Musgrave, state Rep. Darryl Owens, a Louisville Democrat, sent an e-mail to the Jefferson County delegation telling them to prepare for a special session beginning June 15 to deal with the two issues.

Owens said in the e-mail that he might be able to share the details of the “mega” projects bill with his colleagues in the coming days.

One of the potential beneficiaries of the “mega” projects bill would be Interstate 69’s planned route through western Kentucky and bridge at Henderson which carries a hefty price tag. The bill could allow a state or local authority to borrow money to help pay for the project and levy tolls to help repay the bonds.

Gov. Steve Beshear has the authority to call a special session and set the agenda, but his spokesman said Thursday that no plans are set at this point for a special session.

The news that a special session could be called in roughly three weeks comes without a draft proposal of either piece of legislation having been offered to the public.

While the Owensboro area has set the creation of a transportation infrastructure authority as a top priority, the process of laying out the guidelines for that authority is one that will take time and public debate that to this point hasn’t occurred.

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