In these last weeks of August, while Congress is on recess, there has been a great deal of dialogue and action among states regarding their need to fund their local transportation needs.
This week, AP released an article expressing states’ reactions to the lack of federal funding for state transportation projects. Several states are taking the initiative to raise billions of dollars through higher fuel taxes, vehicle fees, and bonds to repair aging bridges and roads that will relieve traffic congestion.
According to the AP, at least half of our states have now passed transportation funding measures since 2013. “I don’t know of a state that’s not having the conversation about raising revenue for transportation,” said Iowa Transportation Director Paul Trombino III. In 2015 alone, 14 states have raised their gas taxes to fund their state infrastructure projects, and others are considering similar measures.
In addition to legislative action, states are beginning to take more creative approaches to funding their infrastructure. In Michigan, some residents are taking matters into their own hands and have raised more than $4,400 filling potholes themselves. Other initiatives to make up for lacking federal funds include House Bill 4608, which would move $60 million from Indian Gaming Compact into the Michigan Transportation Fund.
While Michigan serves as a good example of frustrated citizens working together to do whatever is necessary to improve their roads, it’s not the only state that is fed up with infrastructure conditions. Tennessee, California and others are also taking measures to raise money for roads. And roads are not the only issue that our drivers are facing—as water main breaks continue to erupt throughout our major cities and suburbs.
In order to see improvement, it is essential that Congress work diligently in the next three months to find a long-term funding solution for surface transportation. You can write your representative a letter or call their office and share the message to #FixTheTrustFund by the Oct 29 deadline.