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Discussions on highway funding are underway

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NSSGA reports that both chambers of Congress – House and Senate representatives – have examined a variety of funding sources for the surface transportation bill, though no conclusions have yet been reached. The Highway Trust Fund is reported to need an infusion of at approximately US$168 billion over the next 10 years.

The witnesses at the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Cong. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., were Chad Shirley, Congressional Budget Office; Robert Poole, Reason Foundation; and Governor Bill Graves, American Trucking Association, who spoke at NSSGA’s convention in Baltimore this spring.

Potential funding sources put forward were tolling, increasing usage of public private partnerships and public activity bonds, user fees such as vehicle miles travelled and motor fuel tax, and general fund transfers offset with monies from repatriated funds and the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Fund.

The Senate witnesses were Dr Joseph Kile from the Congressional Budget Office, former transportation Sec. Ray LaHood and Stephen Moore from the Heritage Foundation, the Finance Committee. They also did not reach a final conclusion.

Chairman, Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, stated: “If we’re going to address these challenges, we need people to set aside the politics. We need people to do more than just talk about a long-term highway bill. We need people to bring actual ideas to the table and to come together to work toward a real, lasting solution.”

NSSGA submitted statements for the record for both the House and Senate hearings, as did the Highway Materials Group, which NSSGA leads.

Edited from Press Release by Harleigh Hobbs

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