The following testimony was presented to the Transportation Task Force by Economic Lifelines interim director, Ed DeSoignie, in Salina on September 6th, 2018. A printable PDF version of the testimony is available here.
Chairman McGinn, Chairman Proehl and members of the Transportation Visioning Task Force, thank you for the opportunity to come before you and provide some brief comments.
My name is Edward DeSoignie, I represent Economic Lifelines. As some of you might know, Economic Lifelines was founded 30 years ago at the urging of Governor Mike Hayden. Governor Hayden believed in the need of a private sector organization representing communities, businesses and transportation interests to communicate and work with the Legislature and Governor to address the transportation needs of our state.
A listing of our current members is attached to my testimony. Please take a moment to take note of the diversity of the membership which includes local governments, local chambers of commerce, transit, commercial trucking, rail, labor, contractors and consulting engineers. It is this diverse membership of groups and individuals that has supported these programs for the past 30 years. It is an organization of transportation interests that is not often found in other stattes.
In 2009 and in 2010 Economic Lifelines we worked closely with the Legislature and Governor in developing and pressing for passage of the ten-year transportation plan: T-Works. Prior to that we had worked with the state elected leaders on passage of the statewide transportation plans: the 1989 Comprehensive Highway Program and 1999 Comprehensive Transportation Program. So here again we find ourselves, working with the next generation of leaders to provide with the information you will find necessary in developing your report to the 2019 Legislature.
Today, after years of using transportation funds for other parts of the state budget, we are faced with maintenance needs we are not able to fund, with planned improvement projects that have been deferred and with other community, business and safety needs across that state that can’t be funded.
We will be speaking with you in future Task Force meetings along with our individual our members, some of which are present here today, as we look forward to working with you to find solutions to the challenges that face us.
Thank you for your consideration of these comments.