UPDATE: Legislative tour & the latest from under the dome

Last week, Economic Lifelines – along with KAPA-KRMA, KCA, and the KS Asphalt Pavement Association – hosted a bus tour for legislators. It was an opportunity for them to learn firsthand about the current conditions of the state highway system in Topeka and the surrounding area, the cost for projects when the system hasn’t been maintained, and the need to respond to emerging needs throughout the state. We are excited to look for more opportunities such as this in the future.

This excursion was a well-timed educational opportunity as legislators take up budget and tax ideas that include hearings on things like the motor fuel tax and the budget proposal which on the House side, would allow KDOT the ability to bond to address the most critical needs until meaningful adjustments can be made to the State General Fund revenue structure and sales tax revenues are able to flow to the state highway fund.

While the legislature continues to work through budget and tax proposals we need EL members now more than ever to remind legislators that its important that they support meaningful policy changes that will allow them to restore the funding of T-WORKS back to the State Highway Fund.

Please use the following talking points when you email and call your representatives:

  • We cannot allow critical preservation levels to fall to only $44 million in FY18. This is far below the $380 million KDOT says is necessary to keep our system in its current condition.
  • The minimum preservation levels haven’t been met since FY15 and our roadway conditions will need higher levels of investment if the legislature doesn’t act now.

While both motor fuel taxes and bonding are potential options on the table to get more revenue to critical infrastructure projects, below you will find some information about each.

Motor Fuel Tax Facts

  • $0.05/gallon raises $90 million
  • Cannot be swept to fill other budget needs
  • Is a declining revenue source
Short Term Bond Facts
  • Puts $400 million back into projects over the next two years
  • Cannot be swept to fill other budget needs
  • Maintains three legs of the revenue stool for the state highway fund
  • Ties up future revenue in debt service

It is imperative that immediate action be taken to restore funding which meets minimum maintenance levels. While you continue to have these discussions with policymakers, please feel welcome to use the feedback tool provided on our website. We will follow-up with legislators to continue the dialog about the importance of infrastructure investments to the economy.

If you have an opportunity to expose legislators to a behind the scenes look at their transportation system that we can help to arrange or if there is ever any information or assistance that we can provide, please feel free to contact me at anytime.  I can be reached at tara@economiclifelines.comor by phone at (785) 969-9270.

Sincerely,

 
Tara Mays
Executive Director
(785) 969-9270 or tara@economiclifelines.com

This entry was posted in From the director. Bookmark the permalink.