Back then, it sounded like this committee was going to be specific to the I77 HOT Lanes project. In fact, it even gave anti-toll opponents a little hope that maybe it was being formed as a way to kill the project. The announcement of its formation coincided with the planning for the I77 summit which of course didn't draw the Governor and was blown off by Charlotte
The details in the press release should temper any optimism to a great degree that this committee will quickly achieve the desired result.
Here are a a couple of quick observations...
The committee is Chaired by John Torbett of Gaston County. Torbett has been a good soldier for the pro-toll forces in the House. Torbett was a co-sponsor of an earlier toll related bill H267. We've covered the shenanigans around that bill extensively. See here, here and here for a sampling. Having Rep Torbett with his hand on the reigns of this Committee should not give the anti-toll crowd a warm fuzzy feeling. This is the same Rep Torbett who "forgot" to file any campaign reports this entire year and recently had his campaign committee temporarily shut down by the State BOE.
As further evidence this Select Committee is not stacked with anti-toll politicians, you'll find Rep John Fraley's name also on the list. Fraley is pro-toll all the way as we told you about here.
Finally, unlike the select committee setup by former Speaker Thom Tillis which was focused on ramming through the idea of using Public Private Partnerships which helped give birth to the I77 project, this new committee covers a broad expanse of transportation issues and has a lot more members. It is hard to see his committee getting to the point of suggesting ways of killing the I77 project any time soon.
Here's hoping that's not the case
Press release and entire committee list below...
OFFICE OF THE SPEAKER
16 West Jones Street | Room 2304 | Raleigh, NC 2