While a proposed hike in the state’s gasoline tax had been hogging the limelight in terms of transportation chatter at the Capitol, members of the House panel that has oversight of the broader policy issue spent part of this past Monday wading through less controversial bills.
That action included votes to create a new specialty license plate to benefit the ALS work off former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason and to reject a limited proposal that would have allowed a small community to use golf carts on streets.
The tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee got the first crack at hearing the gas tax bill, but it’s ultimately up to members of the House Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committee to help guide future policy on roads and bridges — and all other things connected.
That meant an agenda of about a half dozen bills for the transportation committee, which held discussions on classifications in the state highway system, public-private partnerships, permit fees and toll violations.
The committee also approved HB 318 by House Speaker Pro Team Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, which creates the “Team Gleason Foundation” specialty license plate. If at least 1,000 plates are ordered, royalty monies connected to the $28.50 fee will help those who have neuromuscular diseases similar to Gleason’s condition.
“He’s more famous now for the courage he’s displayed since being diagnosed with ALS in 2011,” Leger said.