Governor Easley's budget proposal earmarked tens of million dollars more for highway repaving and other maintenance. But he didn't offer a solution to a gap between projected transportation spending and projects over the next two decades that one report lists at 65 billion dollars.
That's because he wants better numbers on the absolute needs for road-building, mass transit and other demands. And he also seems to be waiting on the findings of a blue-ribbon commission examining the state and local tax systems.
The panel could recommend raising taxes or giving more power to local governments to generate money for transportation projects.
The General Assembly, which must pass a state budget and give it back to Easley, will receive some recommendations very soon. And it also must decide whether to allow a one-year freeze on the state's gasoline tax to expire.