The Alabama Road Builder - Fall 2013 - (Page 19)

ARTBA Don’t Just Take Our Word for It… By Peter Ruane President & CEO, American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) J uly 6 marks the one-year anniversary of the signing of MAP-21, the 2012 federal surface transportation authorization law. As ARTBA has stated many times over the past 12 months, MAP-21 is a significant achievement in policy, but lacks a central element: increased, long-term, sustainable federal funding for surface transportation. According to the latest projections, when MAP-21 expires on Sept. 30, 2014, federal highway $$$$$$$$ The Alabama Roadbuilder • Fall 2013 investment will dive from more than $40 billion to about $3 billion per year, and federal transit funding will pretty much disappear. So there’s no doubt that Job No. 1 for ARTBA and our coalition partners is making sure Congress understands the urgency of the situation. In an era of hyper-partisanship and so many other issues taking up oxygen on Capitol Hill (immigration, IRS, drones, etc.), we’re realistic that – as always – we have a challenging task ahead of us. And while we are forging ahead to fi nd a permanent Highway Trust Fund revenue solution, we are getting the usual pushback from self-styled pundits and “experts” who think it will never happen. By way of response, let me recount some of the talk from the recent ARTBA Federal Issues Program and Transportation Construction Coalition Fly-in, for which several hundred of you and your industry colleagues traveled to the Nation’s Capital in early June. Here’s a quote from the Fly-in’s general session: “We need to decide how we’re going to fund transportation long term. It is my goal…and my pledge to fi nd a long-term solution and fi nd it now.” Although I share that exact sentiment, those aren’t my words. The speaker was actually Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee and, of course, a key co-author of MAP-21. So a senior U.S. senator and proven transportation leader wants to solve this issue. Earlier that day, ARTBA convened a bipartisan panel of key congressional staff to share their outlook on this issue. Of particular interest was the statement by a key aide to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who told us averting the Trust Fund’s impending “fi scal cliff” was a priority for the chairman. This squared with an extensive policy paper recently released by the Finance Committee, identifying infrastructure funding as a possible component in any large scale tax or budget deal. So key senators and staff on the tax-writing committee want to solve this issue. Whether in general sessions or individual meetings with our members, other key congressional transportation leaders like House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) made clear that transportation funding solutions are high on their agendas and “all options are on the table.” So, well-positioned members of Congress in both houses and both parties want to solve this issue. This is not idle chatter. These are congressional transportation champions giving us our marching orders: get to their colleagues and tell them the importance of fi xing the Highway Trust Fund as soon as possible. Two years ago, we faced a similar circumstance and an impending 35 percent cut to the program. Many ARTBA members and chapters visited with their federal representatives –especially the brand new ones – and paved the way for passage of MAP-21 the following year. And by the way, the pundits didn’t think we’d get it done back then, either. So don’t just take ARTBA’s word for it. These leaders in Congress are asking for our help. All of us must do our part by making the visits and phone calls this summer and following up over the year. Once again, the future of the federal investment – and the industry – is in your hands! ❏ The preceding article has been reprinted with permission from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). ARBA is an affi liate of ARTBA. For more information, visit www.artba.org. 19 http://www.artba.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Alabama Road Builder - Fall 2013

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
ALABAMA ROADBUILDERS CONVENTION 2013 HIGHLIGHTS
2013 LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP
PROPOSED I-10 BRIDGE HOPES TO CURE BOTTLENECK IN MOBILE
ALDOT
HIGHWAY & BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION WORKER SAFETY
ARTBA
LEGAL
MEMBER PROFILE
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES MARKETPLACE
HEARD ALONG THE HIGHWAY
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS/ADVERTISERS.COM

The Alabama Road Builder - Fall 2013

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