TranspoAdvocate News

State & Local Funding News

TIAC staff tracks the latest state and local transportation funding news and provides regular updates on TranspoAdvocates News. To contribute to these efforts, contact Carolyn Kramer.


 

State Lawmakers to Discuss Transportation Funding Strategies at July 18 Advocates Workshop in D.C.

State Lawmakers to Discuss Transportation Funding Strategies at July 18 Advocates Workshop in D.C.

With over 200 transportation funding bills introduced this year in 39 states, it’s clear that many lawmakers outside of the Nation’s Capital understand the importance of supporting infrastructure investment. Some have passed measures signed into law by their governor, while others continue to shepherd proposals through their statehouse.

Four state legislators will discuss their experiences, share advice on strategies to increase transportation funding, and seek to answer the question of “why now?” at the 5th Annual “National Workshop for State & Local Transportation Advocates,” being held July 18 at the Hyatt Regency Washington in Washington, D.C.

The “State Transportation Funding Champion Legislators” session will feature:

Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran (D- District 5). Speaker Duran helped spearhead a compromise on 2018 legislation that will appropriate $645 million from the state’s General Fund to the transportation fund over the next two years.

Utah Sen. Wayne Harper (R- District 6). Sen. Harper has continuously worked to improve Utah’s transportation funding system in order to ensure the state will meet its immediate and long-term infrastructure needs.

Wisconsin Rep. John Nygren (R- District 89). Rep. Nygren worked with lawmakers to reach a deal in 2017 on legislation that provided transportation bonds and created an electric vehicle fee, successfully ending a state budget impasse.

West Virginia Sen. Craig Blair (R- District 15). Sen. Blair helped pass state legislation to increase the states motor fuels tax and other various fees on motor vehicles. Generating $135 million annually in new transportation funding.

Other sessions include:

  • An overview of state transportation funding trends and initiatives, plus a preview of what’s to come on 2018 state and local ballots;
  • An update on federal transportation funding and efforts to permanently fix the revenue stream for the Highway Trust Fund;
  • In-depth exploration of short- and long-term transportation funding techniques being explored by states;
  • How states ‘set the stage’ for a transportation funding increase;
  • Tips on united urban and rural interests in one campaign;
  • And more!

The Workshop is being held in conjunction with ARTBA’s 30th annual “Public-Private Partnerships in Transportation Conference.”

Space is limited! Register today to reserve your spot, or view more information about the Workshop on TIAC’s website.

State Transportation Funding Trends to be Explored at July 18 Workshop

State Transportation Funding Trends to be Explored at July 18 Workshop

Dozens of states have taken action to address transportation funding shortfalls over the past several years. Join fellow transportation advocates in Washington, D.C., on July 18 to learn about recent transportation investment trends and methods from Dr. Alison Premo Black, chief economist with the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. Dr. Black will explore state legislation introduced since 2013, as well as state and local ballot measures from the last decade, in order to provide analysis on new and recurring themes. She will also look ahead to provide a preview of November 2018 ballot measures.

Register for the 5th Annual “National Workshop for State & Local Transportation Advocates” to hear real-life challenges and success stories of state transportation funding campaigns. Learn what states have raised or are trying to raise new transportation revenue, why they are doing so, what revenue streams they are exploring, who the major players are, and campaign tactics and strategies. Transportation investment champions from around the country will share best practices, playbook secrets and other keys to success in advancing state and local legislative and ballot initiatives that boost transportation infrastructure investment.

Other sessions include:

  • An update on federal transportation funding and efforts to permanently fix the revenue stream for the Highway Trust Fund;
  • In-depth exploration of short- and long-term transportation funding techniques being explored by states;
  • How states ‘set the stage’ for a transportation funding increase;
  • Advice from state lawmakers on succeeding in your transportation funding campaign;
  • Tips on uniting urban and rural interests in one campaign;
  • And more!

The Workshop is being held in conjunction with ARTBA’s 30th annual “Public-Private Partnerships in Transportation Conference.”

Space is limited! Register today to reserve your spot, or view more information about the Workshop on TIAC’s website.

June 4: Updated Report Tracks 209 Transportation Funding Bills in 39 States

June 4: Updated Report Tracks 209 Transportation Funding Bills in 39 States

One-time funding measures, primarily bonds or general fund transfers, are the most popular type of state transportation investment legislation introduced since the start of 2018, according to the Transportation Investment Advocacy Center’s™ (TIAC) latest tracking report.

Twenty measures to increase transportation infrastructure funding have been approved in 15 states, among a total of 209 bills considered in 39 statehouses tracked by TIAC.

Other popular funding mechanisms introduced this year include:

  • Allowing local transportation funding, 41 bills in 14 states.
  • Providing non-fuel tax recurring revenue, including tolls, vehicle registration fees, and sales taxes, 36 bills in 17 states. Five bills in Kansas, Utah, Oregon and Connecticut were approved.
  • Increasing state motor fuel taxes, 25 bills in 11 states. Only one state- Oklahoma- approved a measure to increase the state gas tax. Oklahoma’s 5 cents-per-gallon increase goes to the Roads Fund, which frees up General Fund revenue to be used for education purposes.
  • Establishing a study or task force to investigate the state’s current transportation funding system and make suggestions for improvements to create more sustainable revenue sources, 18 bills in 13 states.
  • Altering electric and hybrid vehicle fees, 13 bills in nine states.

While many state legislatures have adjourned for the year, 12 are still in session, and several— including Maine and Mississippi— are considering special sessions to address unfinished transportation funding proposals. Ballot measures are also pending in Missouri, Colorado, Connecticut, California, and Virginia.

Read the report to see more details about what is happening in each statehouse.

June 1: State Transportation Funding News Roundup

June 1: State Transportation Funding News Roundup

Dozens of Georgia transportation projects do not have sufficient funding to move forward, according to a May 31 report by The Road Improvement Program (TRIP). Read More>>

The Oklahoma legislature’s diversion of transportation revenue to balance the general fund has caused one county to delay road projects until new revenue is available. Read More>>

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) announced May 29 that the state will invest $11.05 billion over the next six years to improve the state’s roads and bridges. The Illinois Department of Transporation’s Multi-Year Proposed Highway Improvement Program prioritizes projects that provide the most economic benefit to communities and utilizes asset management strategies to save money by addressing smaller repairs and avoiding large costs down the line.  Read More>>

A growing number of Wisconsin counties are utilizing an optional local “wheel tax”, an annual vehicle registration fee, to fund their transportation needs as state revenue declines. Read More>>

The American Society of Civil Engineers found that Idaho is facing a $3.6 billion transportation funding shortfall, despite a 7 cents-per-gallon gas tax increase enacted in 2015. Officials are considering various transportation funding options to close the funding gap. Read More>>

Almost 90 percent of Michigan drivers surveyed rate the state’s roads as fair or poor, according to results released by AAA Michigan May 29. Only 2 percent of respondents rated the roads as good or excellent. Though Michigan passed transportation funding legislation in 2015 that intended to raise  $1.2 billion annually, over 50 percent of survey respondents believed state and federal revenue was insufficient to keep up with roads in their current condition. However, most respondents were against raising taxes or fees to pay for improvements. Read More>>

Despite attacks about their support for a 2017 gas tax increase, both Indiana Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun (formerly of the state legislature) and State Rep. Jim Baird (R- Greencastle) won May 9 primaries and will advance to the November general election. House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) stated the victories confirm that Indiana voters support road funding. Read More>>

While a local 1-percent sales tax increase for transportation funding (T-SPLOST) initiative was narrowly defeated in 11 Middle Georgia counties on May 22, 18 counties in South Georgia approved their T-SPLOST initiative for an additional $500 million in revenue for roads and bridges. The tax increase must be approved by a majority of voters in the entire region to go into effect. Both increases had initially failed when proposed to voters on the ballot in 2012.

May 31: State Transportation Funding Legislation Roundup

May 31: State Transportation Funding Legislation Roundup

Maine lawmakers may return for a special session, during which they will consider a measure to ask for voter approval of a $100 million bond package to fund highway and bridge work. The state legislature has until the end of June to consider the measure.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) on May 31 will sign into law legislation that will provide an initial $495 million this year, followed by $150 million next year, then $50 million every subsequent year with 70 percent allocated to the Colorado Department of Transportation, 15 percent to local projects, and 15 percent to transit. The bill includes a provision for a $3.25 billion transportation bond ballot measure in November 2019, but only if two potential ballot measures that are currently gathering signatures for the November 2018 ballot do not pass.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) approved legislation May 30 that will provide $544 million in bonds over three years for transportation projects.

Read details about these bills and more on TIAC’s “State Transportation Funding Legislation” page.