Louisiana Political News Wire
Vitter to help on highway bill
News Star (excerpt)
WASHINGTON — Louisiana Sen. David Vitter was selected Tuesday to be part of a conference committee responsible for crafting the final version of a highway bill that could steer billions in oil-spill fine money to the Gulf Coast.
Vitter and other conferees will try to iron out differences between House and Senate versions of the surface transportation reauthorization bill. The legislation includes several provisions important to Louisiana, including the RESTORE Act, which would send 80 percent of fine money paid by BP to Gulf Coast states for restoration efforts. It also includes the Realize America's Maritime Promise Act (RAMP), a measure proposed by Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., that would ensure all funding collected for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is spent on harbor maintenance and dredging. Currently, about 60 percent goes to the fund and the rest goes elsewhere.
Vitter, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said keeping both measures in the final highway bill is an "absolute top priority."
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