“It is time to fix our roads and bridges,” House Public Works and Highways Committee Chairman Rep. David Campbell, D-Nashua, [New Hampshire,] said. “If not 4.2 cents, what amount? If not today, when?”
With those words of encouragement and a vote, New Hampshire’s legislative branch sent a bill to Gov. Maggie Hassan raising the Gas Tax by 4.2 cents. The governor has said she would sign the bill.
Rep. Campbell’s words are ones that apply not only in New Hampshire, but across the country. Finding funding, making the decision to invest, is a slow going process, but the Highway Trust Fund’s clock is ticking.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder also applauded “constructive” strides this week in road funding legislation for his state.
States taking positive steps is promising, but without a sustainable funding mechanism for the Highway Trust Fund, will it be enough? The Tennessee DOT commissioner warned this week that the shrinking federal funds will significantly hurt the state’s transportation.
In addition to concerns, there were also suggested solutions. One came from U.S. Sen. Carper of Delaware, who discussed his proposal to ensure the Highway Trust Fund keeps up with current and future needs, by raising the tax gas and eventually tying it to inflation. Rep. Bill Shuster, while not outlining a plan, also discussed the importance of fixing the Highway Trust Fund at an event in his home state of Pennsylvania.
As ASCE President Randy Over said “We’re at a critical crossroads.” So if not now, when?