Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Know your governors – Part 2

With the primary season nearly concluded, the ballots in states are almost finalized. Candidates for various positions are focusing their messages as they seek office or re-election.

Many states will be deciding on who will fill their governor’s seat. In the lead-up to Election Day, it seems like a good idea to take a look back at some significant actions taken by governors who are once again vying for the votes of truckers and others.

Among the governors running for re-election are Rick Perry in Texas and John Lynch in New Hampshire.

Gov. Perry grabbed the attention of truckers a few years back when he started pushing his pet project to create the Trans-Texas Corridor. Approved in 2003, the corridor was touted as a toll road that would cut across Texas from the Mexican border to Oklahoma.

In 2009, after years of debate, the multibillion-dollar TTC was declared dead. Despite the agitation that many Texas residents felt about the issue, Perry did complete a successful re-election bid in 2006. But the issue continues to rankle many voters.

The TTC is once again an issue for this fall’s Texas governor’s race. Former Houston Mayor Bill White, Perry’s opponent on the ballot, is trying to make sure of that.

In New Hampshire, John Lynch is once again on the ballot. Among the new laws signed by Gov. Lynch during his term is a 2008 law limiting the amount of money that can be transferred from the highway trust fund for non-transportation uses.

A year later he signed into law a state budget that includes higher vehicle registrations to bolster road funds. Lynch opted for the fee hike instead of a House initiative to increase the fuel tax by 15 cents per gallon.

Specific to trucking, Lynch signed into law a requirement that law enforcement officers allow a tolerance of 5 percent above certain specified weight limitations for trucks on non-interstates and general highways. In addition, he removed the discretion of the courts to place on file, or otherwise mask, convictions incurred by CDL holders. Deferred imposition and diversion programs are included in the prohibition.

In the coming weeks be on the lookout for more blogs about certain governors on fall ballots and their actions on truck-related issues.