House budget writers are preparing to vote on whether to cut millions of dollars from the Department of Transportation's budget, forcing layoffs and a decline in road maintenance.
The 27-member House Finance Committee is voting Wednesday on whether to accept the cuts, proposed at $41 million and made after Republican lawmakers decided not to increase car registration fees to pad the highway fund. Officials say the cuts would have dire consequences on public safety by reducing the department's ability to clear roads and perform bridge maintenance. The cuts could reduce by a quarter the department's workforce, which now has 1,600 positions.
The committee could vote to change the amount of cuts or increase a fee. The bill will move to the House floor after the finance committee's vote.