Blue-Ribbon NC Transportation Panel Named

State legislators formally announced a blue-ribbon committee that will take a close look at the estimated $65 billion funding shortfall in future transportation needs.

The 24-member panel will recommend ways to narrow the shortfall and get a better handle on the scope of road-building and public transportation challenges facing the state over the next two decades.

Some are skeptical of the $65 billion figure, but legislative leaders agreed a panel should be formed to examine the problem.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield chief operating officer Brad Wilson will be the commission's chairman. Other members were chosen by Gov. Mike Easley, Senate leader Marc Basnight and House Speaker Joe Hackney.

The commission will report to the Legislature next spring.