A bipartisan group of governors is calling on Congress to take immediate action to avoid a looming national crisis – the expiration of national highway funding. Seventeen governors signed a letter urging congressional members to act and avoid a potential nationwide transportation funding crisis.
The Highway Trust Fund is facing its fifth revenue shortfall since 2008. Motor fuel and truck excises supporting the Highway Trust Fund have not been adjusted in 20 years. As a result, the trust fund will be virtually depleted next year.
“If Congress does not act to address this shortfall, we expect Federal support of highway and transit projects led by state transportation departments will cease in October,” said North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. “Without renewed federal funding, states are left in a very serious financial crisis that impacts public safety and local economies,” McCrory added.
Congressional action has continuously stalled with no clear consensus on funding mechanisms. State leaders from both parties agree that Congress should consider whatever revenue options are viable for a long-term, multi-year bill. States need the ability to plan long-term.
“Investment in our transportation system is part of the backbone of a strong national economy. The Federal Government should do all it can to avoid the insolvency of the Federal Highway Trust fund,” said Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. “These dollars directly fund construction and maintenance projects, and provide needed construction jobs in states across the country.”
On January 14, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (R-Okla.) testified before Congress in her capacity as chairman of the National Governor’s Association and urged Congress to take action. “States need federal funding stability and certainty to pursue long-term planning and project delivery,” said Governor Fallin. “All funding options must be on the table for evaluation because existing resources are no longer adequate,” she added.
The following 17 governors signed the letter urging Congress to act: Gov. Mike Beebe (D-Ark.), Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), Gov. Patt Quinn (D-Ill.), Gov. Martin O'Malley (D-Md.), Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL-Minn.), Gov. Steve Bullock (D-Mt.), Gov. Pat McCrory (R-N.C.), Gov. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R-N.D.), Gov. John Kitzhaber (D-Ore.), Gov. Tom Corbett (R-Pa), Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D-R.I.), Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R-S.D.), Gov. Peter Shumlin (D-Vt.), Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.)