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.


 

May 4: State Transportation Funding Legislation Roundup

May 4: State Transportation Funding Legislation Roundup

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed into law on May 3 legislation to permit metro Atlanta to form a board and ask for voter approval of a local sales tax to fund transit expansion, and allotted $100 million in bonds for public transit.

The Missouri Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee voted May 3 to advance legislation that could increase the state motor fuel tax by 10 cents-per-gallon beginning Jan. 1, 2019. The bill needs to go to full vote on the Senate floor before moving on to the House for consideration, and if approved by the legislature, the measure would be subject to voter approval.

Compromise was reached on May 3 between the Kansas House and Senate on a bill to create a legislative task force that would evaluate and make recommendations on the state’s current and future transportation system needs that emerged from conference committee.

Connecticut House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) on May 2 decided against proceeding with a vote on toll legislation, citing lack of support from fellow lawmakers. In January, Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) announced the cancellation of $4.3 billion worth of transportation projects due to lack of revenue. By July 1 the state will face a transportation fund deficit unless new revenue is approved, and transit services will face fare hikes and service cuts. State Republican legislators are urging consideration of a plan that would borrow funding for transportation projects.

With a legislative session deadline of May 9, Colorado lawmakers are working toward consensus on the amount of bonds to provide for transportation funding. Senate Bill 1, which could utilize $495 million in the next budget and ask voters in 2019 to approve $3.5 billion in bonds, cleared the Senate unanimously on March 28. After House Democrats proposed removing bonding from the measure, the two parties agreed on a lesser amount of bonds. Once the chamber votes on the changes the bill will go back to the Senate.

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

April 27: State Transportation Funding News

April 27: State Transportation Funding News

Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker warned Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) of an “economic death spiral” if the state legislature does not approve additional transportation funding. In an April 20 letter, Redeker said the agency will raise rail fares by 10 percent and bus fares by 14.3 percent, while cutting service. Read More>>

Local governments will have to pay $7.9 billion to fix structurally deficient bridges and $5.2 billion for patch up pavement, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reported April 17 to the Commonwealth Transportation Board. While interstate and primary pavement conditions have improved, VDOT Deputy Transportation Secretary Nick Donohue stated that secondary road conditions have remained unchanged. Read More>>

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Rapid Bridge Replacement public-private partnership has completed 390 bridges since the program begin in 2013. Now, 50 bridges are under construction and work on 20 more is set to begin soon. Read More>>

A Minnesota transportation coalition is launching an ad campaign to urge the passage of legislation to dedicate taxes on auto sales to transportation funding. The measure would require voter approval in November. Read More>>

April 27: State Transportation Funding Legislation Roundup

April 27: State Transportation Funding Legislation Roundup

Legislation Passed
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) April 25 signed a law to increase vehicle registration fees, which will be used to fund the State Highway Patrol so revenue isn’t diverted from the state’s transportation fund. The measure also eliminates a registration discount received by alternative fuel vehicles, including electric vehicles.

Legislation Progressing
A Minnesota amendment to dedicate an existing sales tax on auto-part sales and repairs to the state’s transportation fund received initial approval in the House Transportation Committee. The measure passed April 26 along party lines, with committee Republicans supporting the bill and Democratic-Farmer-Laborers (DFL) voting against it. If approved by the legislature and voters, the amendment would generate approximately $250 million annually. The tax would be transferred gradually, with 60 percent dedicated to transportation funds beginning in 2021, growing to 100 percent by 2025.

Coming Up…
Connecticut House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) intends to call a vote the week of April 30 on legislation that would implement electronic highway tolls to raise needed transportation funds.

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

Transportation Funding Best Practices to be Explored at July 18 Advocates Workshop

Transportation Funding Best Practices to be Explored at July 18 Advocates Workshop

Learn why and how a record number of transportation investment initiatives have passed since 2013 at the 5th Annual “National Workshop for State & Local Transportation Advocates,” being held July 18 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

“There is no other event like this in the country that provides an opportunity for advocates to gather and discuss issues. The National Workshop provides forums to share information on the issues we face and the solutions we develop.”  (Juva Barber, executive director of Kentuckians for Better Transportation)

This year’s Workshop will feature several advocates sharing best practices and lessons learned from transportation funding campaigns throughout the country in order to help other states build their own campaigns.
Workshop attendees will:

  • Learn how a coalition developed a game plan to protect a state transportation funding increase— and the lawmakers who supported the measure— from an anti-tax crusade;
  • Explore short- and long-term transportation funding techniques being explored by states;
  • Discuss how states ‘set the stage’ for a transportation funding increase;
  • Receive advice from state lawmakers on succeeding in your transportation funding campaign;
  • And more!

“There is so much at stake with these funding issues. Politics is the process of making good policy, but the process is relational. This workshop provides an opportunity to build relationships and get better access to data and information.” (Seth Millican, director of the Georgia Transportation Alliance)

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

March 29 : State Transportation Funding News Roundup

March 29 : State Transportation Funding News Roundup

The Washington  Road Usage Charge Pilot Project has successfully enrolled 2,000 drivers from across the state to explore a new way to fund state transportation improvements, according to members of the state’s steering committee. “With the start of the 12-month road usage charge pilot project, Washington is taking the next step in figuring out how we can find a long-term replacement for the gas tax,” said Rep. Judy Clibborn, chair of the House Transportation Committee and member of the Washington Road Usage Charge Steering Committee. Almost 5,000 drivers from across the state expressed interest in taking part in the pilot project.

The Vermont House of Representatives approved a $612 million transportation budget on March 21, prioritizing paving, bridges and roadway safety projects, as part of transportation bill H.917. The budget closely resembles one the state department of transportation recommended on behalf of Gov. Phil Scott (R ). The plan now moves to the state Senate where transportation advocates hope it will be approved and sent the governor by mid-May.

The budget debated March 27 in the Missouri House of Representatives included $82 million in additional funding for road projects, taken from the transportation reserve fund which will have a balance of $693 million if the legislature and the governor approve the plan.  The $82 million is a small chunk of the additional $825 million a year the state department of transportation says the agency needs to properly maintain roads and bridges. There are several bills in the legislature calling for an increase in the state fuel tax, pegged at 17 cents per gallon since 1996.