Reps Arndt and Ginal Miss Mark on Transportation Funding
State Representatives Jeni Arndt and Joanne Ginal represent Fort Collins in the Colorado General Assembly. One of the biggest issues for Fort Collins and all of Northern Colorado is the growing congestion on North I-25. Fort Collins and area residents are clamoring for I-25 north of Longmont to be widened to 3 lanes each way.
It follows then that Representatives Arndt and Ginal would look out for the interests of their constituents by supporting legislation to fund the widening of I-25, right? Unfortunately, when that opportunity arose recently, they chose partisan politics over the interests of their districts.
To provide context, since 2009 (the Great Recession), state revenue has grown by $3 billion. During that same time the State Legislature has committed exactly $0 from the general fund for transportation. None!
The problem began in 2009 when the Legislature eliminated Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 1310. Those statutes were protected general fund allocation mechanisms for transportation. In their place the Legislature passed a bill called SB 228. It was built upon a complicated set of formulas that was to generate $200M per year for transportation over 5 years. Since it passed 7 years ago it hasn’t generated anything. Finally, over the next couple of years it will produce around $300M total for transportation, far less that the promised $1B.
Last week when an amendment was offered to do something more substantial and permanent for transportation funding, an action what would have benefited North I-25, Reps Arndt and Ginal voted against it at the request of party leaders.
It was a missed opportunity to help North I-25 by committing a small part of the state budget for transportation funding on an ongoing basis. Both Arndt and Ginal have said they support widening I-25, but they didn’t come through. Here’s hoping that on future votes they focus on the needs of their districts.