Funding shortfall might affect Vermont jobs

Gov. Jim Douglas asked Congress to act as soon as possible to address an impending funding shortfall in the nations Highway Trust Fund. If the shortfall is not addressed, Vermont likely would have to cancel numerous transportation projects that employ more than 1,600 Vermonters. In a letter written on behalf of the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG), Douglas, who is the coalitions chairman, said if Congress does not act soon to fill the more than $3 billion trust fund shortfall that is predicted in Fiscal Year 2009, states risk losing about one third of their promised federal aid. According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Vermont stands to lose more than $47 million should Congress not act to restore the Highway Trust Fund. If not addressed in a timely manner by the Congress, this shortfall will have a significant impact upon the investment not only Vermont, but all other states can make to help rebuild the nations already stressed highways, roads and bridges, Douglas said.

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