This year we’ve seen policymakers at the state level take the lead on tackling the issue of infrastructure funding as several states moved to increase gas taxes (Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming). And, this week state leaders are in Kansas City at the Council of State Governments (CSG) National Conference discussing a variety of issues with transportation and infrastructure high on their list of priorities. Legislators and DOT officials from around the country packed the room for CSG’s Transportation Policy Committee meeting to discuss how states can address infrastructure financing and funding challenges, including challenges with implementation of MAP-21.
Dave Nichols, P.E., Director of the Missouri Department of Transportation told attendees that a “lack of action at the federal level has forced states to take matters into their own hands.” ASCE’s 2013 Report Card was highlighted during the session. Larry Frevert, P.E., a member of ASCE’s Committee on America’s Infrastructure which developed the Report Card, spoke to the group about the Report Card and the economic impact of infrastructure investment. Mr. Frevert’s presentation was very well received as he covered a variety of helpful information in the Report Card for state legislators.
The CSG Transportation Policy Academy also passed two resolutions during their meeting. The first calls on Congress to pass the next federal surface transportation authorization bill prior to the expiration of MAP-21 on September 30 2104. The second resolution expresses support for a recent National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) proposal that Congress create a $20 million program to support state level pilot programs to explore transportation funding alternatives to fuel taxes.