Federal authorization for surface transportation programs will expire on May 31, unless Congress acts. If Congress does not act, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which the federal government uses to funnel most transportation money to the states will become insolvent.
Congress will almost certainly not have a long term funding solution in place by the deadline. The Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, which was actively engaged in the prior MAP-21 reauthorization, actively supports a continuing resolution with adequate resources to at least maintain the current level of programming in the states and to begin to make headway on critical unmet needs. We are urging Congress to develop a bipartisan long term solution. Our Coalition recently sent a letter to the Great Lakes members of the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means Committees asking them to develop a short term/intermediate term funding solution and a long term funding solution.
Additionally, a Coalition letter was sent to Great Lakes members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee requesting that they include in the long-term surface transportation reauthorization expanded authority for States to establish tolls on federally-funded roads, bridges and tunnels. This has been a key piece of the Coalition’s agenda.
Transportation infrastructure is critically important to the supply chains of a thriving Great Lakes regional economy and finding an adequate, stable and predictable long-term revenue fix is one of the Coalition’s major priorities. While we believe that user fees should remain the basis for funding our transportation infrastructure, we also recognize that Congress may need to consider other responsible options such as the repatriation of foreign taxes while searching for a politically acceptable funding approach for the long haul.
We will continue to keep you posted on any new developments and the ways we can effectively make our voices heard.