TranspoAdvocate NewsState & 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.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) Dec. 11 called on lawmakers to increase transportation funding in 2019, including raising the state gas tax and fees on fuel-efficient vehicles. Read More>>
Several Illinois local leaders, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, on Dec. 11 suggested a state gas tax increase of 20 to 30 cents-per-gallon to make needed investments in the state’s transportation infrastructure. Read More>>
The California Department of Transportation on Dec. 7 announced an allocation of over $600 million in revenue for hundreds of transportation projects, including $80 million of funding from Senate Bill 1 (2017), legislation that increased the state gas tax and vehicle registration fees. Voters on Nov. 6 rejected a repeal of that funding, ensuring that the revenue continues to be invested in the state’s transportation infrastructure. Read More>>
The Connecticut Department of Transportation requested on Dec. 10 that lawmakers invest $12.1 billion over the next five years into the agency’s capital plan for transportation infrastructure, including highways, bridges and public transportation. The request reflects an increase of $4.4 billion over the previous five years. Read More>>
A local measure to increase funding for roads in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, received over 60 percent voter approval on the Dec. 8 ballot. The measure, which will increase the local sales tax by a half-cent for 30 years, is estimated to generate $912 million in revenue. In November voters across the country approved over $31 billion in new and recurring state and local transportation investment. Read More>>
Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn Dec. 5 warned that the state’s current transportation investment was inadequate to meet its needs and compete with neighboring states. Read More>>
Alabama Sen. Pro Tem Del Marsh (R- District 12) Nov. 28 stated that the legislature would likely consider increasing the state gas tax during the 2019 legislative session, with his preference including indexing the fuel tax to the Consumer Price Index with a floor and ceiling in place. Read More>>
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) recently proposed using $183 million annually from a new online sales tax to fund roads, a move that would require a change to the state constitution which outlines how sales tax revenue should be distributed. The majority of the revenue from the fund would be deposited into the School Aid Fund. Read More>>
A Kansas task force Nov. 29 included recommendations to increase the state gas tax and institute an electric vehicle user fee as part of its proposal for a long-term transportation funding plan. The final report is due to the state legislature in January. Read More>>
A Kansas legislatively-appointed task force Nov. 28 reached consensus on 280 new transportation projects to recommend for inclusion in the next multiyear transportation plan, as well as 21 projects that were not completed in the previous plan. The projects would be worth an estimated $18 billion. The task force will consider funding options at its final meeting on Nov. 29. One option it is likely to recommend is restoring revenue to a fund designated for cities and counties; current law requires the state to transfer $130 million annually into that fund, but recent budget shortfalls have diverted the revenue to other purposes. Read More>>
Colorado State Transportation Commissioners Rocky Scott, Kathy Connell and Sidny Zink voiced concern Nov. 26 about voter rejection of transportation funding ballot measures earlier this month. All three commissioners expected needed projects in their region to be delayed, congestion to increase, and project cost to rise while officials look for a transportation funding solution. Gov.-elect Jared Polis (D) has called on lawmakers to think of a new, recurring revenue stream. Read More>>
Iowa Department of Transportation Director Mark Lowe at a Nov. 26 budget hearing announced that the state is making progress addressing structurally deficient bridges, with numbers falling from a high of 256 in 2006 to an anticipated 46 by the end of 2019. The director urged Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) to continue investing in the department and continue pushing forward on the progress. Read More>>
A Louisiana coalition is gearing up for a campaign to increase the state gas tax, but is already facing push-back from Americans for Prosperity. Department of Transportation and Development Director Shawn Wilson asked residents to support increasing the department’s resources in a Nov. 22 op-ed. Read More>>
Voters in 12 states overwhelmingly re-elected 93 percent of 530 state lawmakers who supported a gas tax increase between 2015 and 2018 and ran for re-election in 2018. Winning state lawmakers in Nov. 6 races included 92 percent of Republicans, and 94 percent of Democrats, according to an analysis from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ (ARTBA-TIAC).
The preliminary numbers compare favorably to lawmakers who voted against a gas tax increase—90 percent of 211 state legislators who voted against a gas tax increase and ran for re-election won their races, including 88 percent of Republicans and 96 percent of Democrats.
The results are consistent with those over the last five years that show support for a gas tax increase does not hurt political careers. Including 2018, voters have re-elected 92 percent of over 1,890 state lawmakers who voted in favor of a gas tax increase since 2013. This support for lawmakers who approve a gas tax increase persists across party lines as well— over 90 percent of Democratic and 94 percent of Republican lawmakers were re-elected.
The complete report and an interactive map showing the state-by-state results can be found at www.transportationinvestment.org.
ARTBA’s government relations, economics and Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ (TIAC) teams have produced two special reports to help you better understand the impacts of the Nov. 6 election results.
Democrats picked up 27 seats to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives; 17 House seats have not yet been called. In the Senate, Republicans added to their majority, which currently stands at 52-45. Senate races in Florida, Mississippi and Arizona are still to be called.
“Now we have a much easier path because the Democrats will come to us with a plan for infrastructure, a plan for health care, a plan for whatever they’re looking at, and we’ll negotiate,” President Donald Trump said during a Nov. 7 news conference discussing the House results.
ARTBA tracked a record 346 state and local transportation ballot investment initiatives in 31 states. Voters approved 272, or 79 percent, of those measures.
In the most closely watched initiative (Prop. 6), California voters beat back an effort to repeal an increase in the state gasoline and diesel motor fuels tax that had been previously approved by the legislature as part of a 2017 transportation funding law. That decision by voters will help preserve more than $50 billion for urgently-needed highway, bridge, transit improvements in California over a 10-year period.
For more details on the congressional election and transportation ballot results, and re-election rates of state legislators who supported gas tax releases, read the full reports below.