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Idaho Senate makes new changes to transportation plan

Idaho senators have whittled down a $530 million transportation funding plan with the hopes of getting it through both chambers before lawmakers adjourn for the year.

The latest transportation plan is now roughly $320 million, primarily by using bonds to pay for new road projects and repay it with future federal highway payments. The previous plan had included allowing cities and counties to use a local sales tax option to fund transportation projects, but critics were quick to point out that would never pass the Legislature.

The new plan also removes the exemption on sales tax for road materials. That was estimated to help boost transportation funding by $12 million.

The Senate made the tweaks on Tuesday. Legislative leaders say they hope to adjourn by Friday.

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