Branstad: ‘Time is right’ for gas tax hike

Branstad Iowa Press 2-14By The Iowa Statesman


Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad was a guest on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program over the weekend. During the taped interview, the governor told moderator Dean Borg and panelists O. Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa and Kathie Obradovich of The Des Moines Register he felt “the time was right” for a gas tax increase.

“Well, we have been working with the bipartisan leadership in both the House and the Senate since the beginning of the session on this. I think they now have bill drafts that are before both committees,” he told Henderson. “And obviously our goal is to get bipartisan support in both houses to get this accomplished. It’s a compromise and it’s not what everybody would like and I’m sure that there are many groups would like to see it differently. But there is a clear need for additional money for infrastructure, for our roads and bridges, in the counties, cities, as well as the state. And I think the timing is right to get it done this year.”

“I’ve had personal discussions with members of both houses on this and we have time set aside to visit with legislators,” Branstad told Henderson in response to a follow-up question. “We have primarily been working with the leadership and the leadership has been working with the committee chairs. And the nice thing about it, it’s not a partisan issue and people have been going down this road together and I have said that I’m open to considering different options and we had the Department of Transportation put together a lot of different ideas. Some of those ideas are included in this bill. Some of them are not. But it is something, it’s a timely issue, it’s an important issue. Along with our broadband initiative, this is a session where I’m hopeful infrastructure will be addressed.”

See the entire interview by clicking here.