Things happen very quickly this time of year in the Legislature. We are in the home stretch, so to speak. Bills that have made it from one chamber to the other are being heard, voted out of that particular committee and passed by the second chamber. If both chambers pass identical versions of the bill, it goes to the governor for his signature. If the two chambers pass different versions of a bill, three representatives and three senators are assigned to a conference committee, which is what is presently happening.
This is the first year of a biennium. Even though a bill may have gone nowhere this year, it can be taken up next session by the committee.
H.510, the Transportation Bill, passed all final stages and was signed into law by the governor.
The following is a timetable of the funding work: On May 1, A new 2 percent assessment on the price of gasoline took effect. The tax per gallon decreases by 8 cents, for a net increase of 5.9 cents per gallon at the pump. The price of diesel increases by 2 cents on July 1. Beginning July 1, 2014, the tax on diesel increases by another cent for a total increase of 3 cents. A second 2 percent assessment is added to the price of gasoline, and the tax per gallon drops 6.9 cents, for a cumulative net increase in the tax on gasoline of 6.5 cents at the pump.
The much needed increase to the Transportation Fund allows Vermont to fully access our share of federal funds in 2014. It fully supports the town highway aid programs and continues the much needed repair to our roads and bridges.