From trading an inflation-adjusted tax hike for a flat rate to cuts in Amtrak subsidies and borrowing to fill holes, to pledging to keep dollars in designated funds, proposal after proposal to alter the House Transportation bill fell by overwhelming margins Wednesday.
Opponents-- mostly Republican-- say they know their dissent won't change the bill's fate on Thursday.
"In a $225 million state portion of the transportation budget, there are other choices that could be made," said Rep. Don Turner, R-Milton.
The full House will vote on H.510 Thursday. The $658 million bill provides for funding for the Transportation Agency. Most controversially, it effectively raises the state's take home of gas sales by 7.7 cents per gallon.
Vermonters are covering less mileage in more efficient cars, and that has drained the state's budget for bridges and roads.
Increased revenue will also bring back tens of millions in matching dollars from the federal government.
"There is an extreme cost to failed infrastructure and I know we won't be able to make everything perfect, but we will definitely try to do our best with what this body has supported here today," said Rep. Diane Lanpher, D-Vergennes.
House members are expected to vote yes on the proposal Thursday; the bill's fate in the Senate is less certain.
Several legislators who criticized the bill for raising tax rates during tough economic times say they will grudgingly support the measure to avoid missing out on federal dollars.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:58 AM EDT2013-06-19 15:58:24 GMT
Vermont State Police are on the scene of an incident in Peacham, investigating a report of shots fired and a missing man. Police say at around 7 a.m. this morning, a woman told them a white van came toMore >>
Vermont State Police are on the scene of an incident in Peacham, investigating a report of shots fired and a missing man.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 12:12 PM EDT2013-06-19 16:12:41 GMT
Burlington police are investigating a hit-and-run accident. Police say Monday at 4:10 p.m., a woman was walking in the crosswalk at College St. near the Waterman Building at UVM, when she was hit by anMore >>
Police are asking the public for help identifying the suspect in a hit-and-run accident on College Street in Burlington.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 10:03 AM EDT2013-06-19 14:03:21 GMT
A former Customs Agent will sell more more than 150 guns that were seized from his Brattleboro home during a 2011 raid. Special Agent Richard Bernholz pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to filingMore >>
A former Customs Agent will sell more more than 150 guns that were seized from his Brattleboro home during a 2011 raid.More >>