Courage is a funny thing. It's something we all want to have - and quite frankly - we don't know if we actually have it until we're faced with a difficult situation.
This week, I witnessed courage. Representative Sal Santoro (R-60) and Representative John Sims, Jr. (D-70) filed House Bill 609.
These two gentlemen were joined by 11 other courageous people, Rep. Matt Castlen (R-14); Rep. Richard Heath (R-2); Rep. Donna Mayfield (R-73); Rep. Chad McCoy (R-50); Rep. Kimberly Poore Moser (R-64); Rep. Rob Rothenburger (R-58); Rep. Bart Rowland (R-21); Rep. Diane St. Onge (R-63); Rep. Ken Upchurch (R-52); Rep. Scott Wells (R-97); and Rep. Susan Westrom (D-79) all of whom realize that something must be done to ensure revenues are available to maintain and improve Kentucky's transportation network so our Commonwealth can remain competitive in the global marketplace.
You might thank that filing a bill when you're an elected official isn't courageous - its just part of your job.
But, remember, courage is more than recognizing there is a problem. Courage is doing the right thing - even though some people might not like it.
House Bill 609, as introduced, is a courageous bill that will modernize how we fund maintenance and improvements on Kentucky's road and bridge network. It also creates a multi-modal transportation fund that ensures our airports, rail crossings, transit network and our riverports will have the revenue they need to maintain their current systems and make improvements for the future.
Who wouldn't like this? Who wouldn't like knowing that their potholes will be fixed, that their local bridges are safe, or that the new road access their community needs will be completed? Who wouldn't like knowing that their mother will still have access to transit, that their rail crossings were safe, that their grain could access the riverport, or that their General Aviation Airport runway was safe?
In my opinion there aren't many people who are truly opposed. After speaking to nearly 50 different civic groups and organizations around the state, I haven't found anyone who is honestly opposed to paying for our transportation infrastructure and the safe access it provides.
But, if there are a few in opposition, we have to let the Legislature know there are thousands of people in support of funding Kentucky's transportation network so our state can be competitive.
Now, more than ever, I urge you to contact your Legislator and let them know it's time for them to fix this problem. Call the legislative message line at (800) 372-7181 and ask your Legislator to support House Bill 609.
To find your Legislator, click here.