Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, better known as the F.A.S.T. Act, has passed both chambers of the United States Congress.
After many, many years of short term continuing resolutions we finally have a long term authorization that will give our states the opportunity to plan for and implement major road projects.
With the final passage of this bill, we can plan for the future.
As a part of the transportation industry, we have the security of knowing that we'll have the opportunity to not only build projects but maintain them as well. That means we will be putting people to work - consistently - for at least the next 5 years. That's important because we employ more than 50,000 people in the transportation industry in the state of Kentucky alone.
Passage of this bill isn't just important to those of us within the transportation industry. The infrastructure we build today will be used for generations to come, providing them with opportunities to better their lives by accessing employment and education. We will also use the infrastructure we build today to move the freight of tomorrow. Whether we are manufacturing cars or 3D printers, we must be able to safely and efficiently move freight. Having a consistent federal highway bill will allow our state - and others - to address current issues and build for the future.
But this bill isn't just about building roads and bridges.
It's also about our entire transit network. The majority of public transit funding is derived from the federal highway trust fund. An interconnected transit network covers all of Kentucky counties, providing access for Kentuckians to employment, education, and other everyday needs. Passage of the F.A.S.T. Act ensures funding for this important mode of transportation used by thousands of Kentuckians on a daily basis.
KBT wants to thank Leader McConnell and the other members of the Kentucky delegation for their perseverance on this issue. During the annual KBT Fly In last May, Leader McConnell invited Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Committee to speak with our group. The two gentlemen informed KBT members that a long-term surface transportation bill was a top priority and that their Chamber was going to work toward passage. As we visited with our U.S. House members, we heard a similar message. True to everyone's word, the bill has passed both Chambers and is awaiting the President's signature. To view the summary of the bill, click here. To view the explanatory statement, click here.
Thank you to the entire Kentucky delegation for taking action yesterday and doing what our country needs today and in the future.