November 25, 2014 - "60 Minutes" had a segment Sunday night on our country’s crumbling transportation system. If you didn’t get to see it, I have included a link at the end of this blog. In some ways here, there is nothing new in their segment that we have not been talking about for years already. Our public transportation infrastructure is in bad shape and it is getting worse. Why? Because of a lack of investment. The last time the federal gas tax was raised was in 1993. The federal trust fund was projected to be bankrupt last summer, but was bailed out with general fund dollars. However, those funds will run out in early 2015 and we will be faced with the same situation again unless Congress finds additional funds or bails out the trust fund again.
As you know, we have the exact same issue on the state side. However, we have an opportunity to change this at the state level in the next few weeks. The Michigan Senate has passed legislation to raise an additional $1.5 billion phased in over the next several years. Already there is discussion in the State House that this is too much of an increase and there may be efforts to lower the amount. It needs to be as large of an increase as we can secure given that it may be the last increase we see for a while. Note that the last time the state gas tax was increased was 1997.
Please call your representative and tell them how important it is to pass the State Senate’s language. This may be the best chance we have to secure additional funds for quite some time.
View the "60 Minutes" story here.
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