KYTC Secretary Says Outlook is Dire Re: Transportation Funding

LOUISVILLE, KY (June 5, 2018) – The Kentucky Infrastructure Coalition (KIC) today praised lawmakers for progress made on prioritizing transportation funding during the 2018 General Assembly but urged them to do more to protect Kentucky’s economy and quality of life.

In a letter to the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation delivered at today’s meeting, KIC outlined the need for continued progress in transportation funding. “Without significant and sustained increases in transportation funding, Kentucky’s infrastructure will not meet the increasing needs of our citizens and the businesses that support their jobs and quality of life,” wrote Coalition Chair Juva Barber.

KIC is a broad alliance of respected groups representing thousands of hard-working Kentuckians including farmers, manufacturing workers, engineers, builders, local leaders and more.

KIC is asking lawmakers to find a solution to our transportation infrastructure funding challenges so Kentucky can compete with Indiana, Tennessee, West Virginia and other competitor states that have recently raised transportation taxes to generate hundreds of millions of dollars.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Greg Thomas underscored the need to build upon what was accomplished earlier this year, making transportation funding a top priority for the next legislative session.

Rep. Sal Santoro, R-Florence, said House Bill 109 was designed to make Kentucky more competitive. “Kentucky is facing a serious revenue shortage that will hinder our ability to effectively maintain our transportation network,” said Kentucky Representative Sal Santoro. “We need to find a solution to our funding challenges now before the issue gets worse.”

Senator Ernie Harris, R-Oldham, echoed the urgency of finding a solution. “No matter what we do we have to resolve this issue by the end of the next legislative session.”

Barber praised lawmakers for their progress on transportation during the 2018 General Assembly, including:

  • passage of a responsible State Highway Plan that includes two years of funded investments and four years of planned projects, with a priority on fixing a tremendous backlog of broken bridges and crumbling roads;
  • passage of a transportation operating budget that supports the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the thousands of working men and women across the Commonwealth who focus daily on our transportation needs; and
  • a thoughtful discussion of House Bill 609, the most serious piece of legislation to begin addressing Kentucky’s transportation funding need in recent memory.

“We’re committed to working with Gov. Bevin, Secretary Thomas and the members of the Kentucky General Assembly to solve the transportation funding challenge,” Barber added. “We will work tirelessly to spread the message, answer questions, seek information and find common ground on this important issue”.

About the Kentucky Infrastructure Coalition

The Kentucky Infrastructure Coalition is made up of leading groups representing thousands and thousands of manufacturers, farmers, engineers, local leaders and transportation workers who understand that safe, reliable, efficient transportation is essential to Kentucky’s economy. The Coalition supports long-term, sustainable funding that provides adequate revenues for all modes of transportation so our state can maintain the infrastructure we have today and build what we need for our future.

For more information on KIC, including a list of partners and additional information on transportation needs and importance, visit http://www.kickstartky.com/.

 

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