Legislation approved today by the Oklahoma Senate would redirect 5 percent of the motor vehicle collection tax to pay for “major collector” roads.
House Bill 1080, by state Rep. Mike Sanders, deals with county roads that connect communities, highways and industries. These so-called “major collector” roads make up a total of 15,000 miles of county roadways, according to Sanders.
“While lawmakers have made great strides in updating state road and bridge infrastructure, county roads and bridges continue to be both a public safety and economic development concern, especially where they have been compromised due to natural disasters,” said Sanders, R-Kingfisher. “My bill helps fund them to ensure driver safety and economic prosperity. County road and bridge work is one of the top concerns of the residents of Western Oklahoma.”
State Rep. Jason Smalley, who co-authored the legislation, said it is a priority for his district.
“This legislation is very important to my constituents,” said Smalley, R-Stroud. “We have a real need for additional county road and bridge funding to ensure the safety of residents and convenient travel for business and residential needs in the district.”
From 2006 through 2010, Oklahoma has had yearly devastating disasters such as floods, snow and ice that destroy county roads and bridges. Damage to county roads and bridges are not eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency funding, Sanders said.
House Bill 1080 now awaits the signature of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.