OUR VIEW: Year off from road issue OK, but resume fight in 2013Mike Vehle hasn’t given up his quest to raise money to improve South Dakota’s roads. He just figures the time isn’t right to push it, after some success in 2011.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
Mike Vehle hasn’t given up his quest to raise money to improve South Dakota’s roads. He just figures the time isn’t right to push it, after some success in 2011.
Roads are a pet concern for Vehle, a Republican state senator from Mitchell. His background is in agri-business, so he knows how important good, safe roads are. Last year, he was tickled to see license plate fees increased to help fund road maintenance.
This year, not much is happening on the road front, and Vehle was asked about it during a cracker barrel session Saturday at Mitchell Technical Institute. He told attendees that there isn’t much interest in road legislation this year. He did briefly consider floating another roads-related revenue bill this year, but said Saturday that “I couldn’t find anyone to support it during an election year.” He urged attendees at the meeting to write letters in support of road funding.
Vehle told us much the same when we met with him briefly about the subject last month. He said he is still intensely interested in finding more money for road work, but he just doesn’t feel the same urgency from other lawmakers from around the state.
Maybe next year, he said.
Meanwhile, the state’s rural roads are still crumbling and other infrastructure — bridges and such — are in trouble.
We don’t have a problem with waiting until next year to push legislation to raise more road-construction money. In some ways, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but in others, it sometimes get ignored.
We do urge lawmakers to not let slip the progress that has been made. Action is needed, and we hope next year is the time it comes.