DC: State Municipal Leagues, Representing 19,000 Cities, Send Letter Urging Congress to Pass Transport Reauthorization

The National League of Cities (NLC) and 49 municipal leagues July 1,  sent a letter  to leaders on the House and Senate Transportation Committess urging support for local government transportation prirorities in the reauthorization of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). 

Across the nation, local governments own 78 percent of the nation’s road miles, 50 percent of the nation’s bridges, and operate the majority of the nation’s transit systems. At the same time, local governments are involved in less than a quarter of the $41 billion in federal funds spent on highways each year and have little say in how federal transportation dollars are invested in our communities. 

In the letter, state municipal league leaders urged Congress to address these local government priorities in the next surface transportation bill: 

Provide local governments with long term funding: Provide local governments with the certainty of a multi-year program so they can plan and fund transportation in their communities by addressing the shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund through an increase in the federal gasoline tax or alternative sources of revenue that do not interfere with local government ability to finance local needs.

Send funding directly to the projects where people live and work by giving local leaders a stronger role in selecting projects: Increase the roles for local officials to make decisions about project funding through metropolitan planning organizations and rural planning organizations.
Support alternative financing: Fund the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program, incentivize local innovation, and preserve the federal tax exemption for municipal bonds.
Streamline the planning and approval process: Continue MAP – 21 provisions that help cities deliver transportation projects quickly, eliminate red tape, and maintain environmental standards.
Support public transportation systems of all sizes: Continue to fund transit programs from federal gas tax revenues and provide discretionary funding for both rural and urban transit systems to address major investments. 

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June 30, 2014

The Honorable Barbara Boxer Chairman
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable David Vitter
Ranking Member
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Bill Shuster
Chairman
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
US House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Nick Rahall
Ranking Member
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
US House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairmen Boxer and Shuster, and Ranking Members Vitter and Rahall:

We are writing on behalf of the 19,000 cities represented by our associations to request your support for local government surface transportation priorities as you take action on a long term reauthorization of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).

Local governments play a primary role in the nation’s transportation network and are a critical link in the intergovernmental partnership that keeps our national economy moving. The nation’s vast transportation network is essential to the health of our local economies and job creation. Eighty-five percent of our nation’s residents live in metropolitan areas and rely on local transportation networks to travel to work and school every day. The businesses in those same areas depend on modern and reliable transportation options to move goods and provide services throughout our communities and across the country.

Across the nation, local governments own 78 percent of the nation’s road miles, 50 percent of the nation’s bridges, and operate the majority of the nation’s transit systems. At the same time, local governments are involved in less than a quarter of the $41 billion in federal funds spent on highways each year and have little say in how federal transportation dollars are invested in our communities.

We urge your support for a new long-term transportation program that includes local decision- making authority, invests in long term equitable transportation solutions, supports sustainable multimodal choices and maintains a strong federal role. We respectfully ask you to address the following local government priorities in the next surface transportation bill:

Provide local governments with long term funding: Provide local governments with the certainty of a multi-year program so they can plan and fund transportation in their communities by addressing the shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund through an increase in the federal gasoline tax or alternative sources of revenue that do not interfere with local government ability to finance local needs.

Send funding directly to the projects where people live and work by giving local leaders a stronger role in selecting projects: Increase the roles for local officials to make decisions about project funding through metropolitan planning organizations and rural planning organizations.
Support alternative financing: Fund the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program, incentivize local innovation, and preserve the federal tax exemption for municipal bonds.
Streamline the planning and approval process: Continue MAP – 21 provisions that help cities deliver transportation projects quickly, eliminate red tape, and maintain environmental standards.
Support public transportation systems of all sizes: Continue to fund transit programs from federal gas tax revenues and provide discretionary funding for both rural and urban transit systems to address major investments.

For additional information on local priorities in MAP-21 reauthorization, please contact Leslie Wollack at the National League of Cities, Wollack@nlc.org.

Thank you for your leadership on these issues and your consideration of local priorities as you move forward towards passage of a new surface transportation bill.

Sincerely,

(signed)

Clarence E. Anthony, Executive Director National League of Cities

Ken Smith, Executive Director
Alabama League of Municipalities
P.O. Box 1270 (535 Adams Avenue)
Montgomery, Alabama 36102

Kathie Wasserman, Executive Director
Alaska Municipal League
217 Second Street, Suite 200
Juneau, Alaska 99801

Ken Strobeck, Executive Director
League of Arizona Cities and Towns
1820 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Don Zimmerman, Executive Director
Arkansas Municipal League
P.O. Box 38
(301 W. 2nd Street)
North Little Rock, Arkansas 72115

Christopher McKenzie, Executive Director
League of California Cities
1400 K Street, 4th Floor
Sacramento, California 95814

Sam Mamet, Executive Director
Colorado Municipal League
1144 Sherman Street
Denver, Colorado 80203

Bruce Wollschlager, Interim Executive Director & CEO
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities
900 Chapel Street, 9th Floor
New Haven, Connecticut 06510

George C. Wright, Executive Director
Delaware League of Local Governments
P.O. Box 484 (1210 White Oak Road)
Dover, Delaware 19903

Michael Sittig, Executive Director
Florida League of Cities
P.O. Box 1757 (301 South Bronough, Suite 300)
Tallahassee, Florida 32302

Lamar Norton, Executive Director
Georgia Municipal Association
201 Pryor Street, S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Ken Harward, Executive Director
Association of Idaho Cities
3100 South Vista Ave, Suite 310
Boise, Idaho 83705

Larry G. Frang, Executive Director
Illinois Municipal League
P.O. Box 5180 (500 E. Capitol Avenue)
Springfield, Illinois 62705

Matthew C. Greller, Executive Director
Indiana Association of Cities and Towns
200 S. Meridian Street, Suite 340
Indianapolis, Indiana 46225

Alan Kemp, Executive Director
Iowa League of Cities
317 Sixth Avenue, Suite 800
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Erik Sartorius, Executive Director
League of Kansas Municipalities
300 S.W. 8th Street
Topeka, Kansas 66603

Jonathan Steiner, Executive Director & CEO
Kentucky League of Cities
100 East Vine Street, Suite 800
Lexington, Kentucky 40507

Ronnie Harris, Executive Director Louisiana Municipal Association
P.O. Box 4327 (700 North 10th Street)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70821

Christopher G. Lockwood, Executive Director
Maine Municipal Association
60 Community Drive
Augusta, Maine 04330

Scott A. Hancock, Executive Director
Maryland Municipal League
1212 West Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Geoffrey Beckwith, Executive Director
Massachusetts Municipal Association
One Winthrop Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02110

Dan Gilmartin, Executive Director
Michigan Municipal League
P.O. Box 1487 (1675 Green Road)
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106

James F. Miller, Executive Director
League of Minnesota Cities
145 University Avenue, West
St. Paul, Minnesota 55103

Shari Veazey, Executive Director
Mississippi Municipal League
600 East Amite Street, Suite 104
Jackson, Mississippi 3920

Dan Ross, Executive Director
Missouri Municipal League
1727 Southridge Drive
Jefferson City, Missouri 65109

Alec Hansen, Executive Director
Montana League of Cities and Towns
P.O. Box 1704 (208 North Montana - Suite 201)
Helena, Montana 59624

L. Lynn Rex, Executive Director
League of Nebraska Municipalities
1335 L Street
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508

Wes Henderson, Executive Director
Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities
310 South Curry Street
Carson City, Nevada 89703

Judy Silva, Executive Director
New Hampshire Municipal Association
P.O. Box 617 (25 Triangle Park Drive)
Concord, New Hampshire 03302

Suzanne M. Walters, President
New Jersey State League of Municipalities
222 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608

William F. Fulginiti, Executive Director
New Mexico Municipal League
P.O. Box 846 (1229 Paseo de Peralta)
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504

Peter A. Baynes, Executive Director
New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials
119 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12210

Paul Meyer, Executive Director
North Carolina League of Municipalities
215 N. Dawson St.
Raleigh, North Carolina, 27602

R. Blake Crosby, Executive Director
North Dakota League of Cities
410 E. Front Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58504

Susan J. Cave, Executive Director
Ohio Municipal League
175 South Third Street, Suite 510
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Carolyn Stager, Executive Director
Oklahoma Municipal League
201 North East 23rd Street
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

Michael J. McCauley, Executive Director
League of Oregon Cities
P.O. Box 928 (1201 Court Street, N.E., Suite 200)
Salem, Oregon 97308

Rick Schuettler, Executive Director
The Pennsylvania Municipal League
414 North Second Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101

Daniel Beardsley, Executive Director
Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns
1 State Street, Suite 502
Providence, Rhode Island 02908

Miriam Hair, Executive Director
Municipal Association of South Carolina
P.O. Box 12109 (1411 Gervais Street)
Columbia, South Carolina 29211

Yvonne Taylor, Executive Director
South Dakota Municipal League
208 Island Drive
Ft. Pierre, South Dakota 57532

Margaret Mahery, Executive Director
Tennessee Municipal League
226 Capitol Blvd., Room 710
Nashville, Tennessee 37219

Bennett Sandlin, Executive Director
Texas Municipal League
1821 Rutherford Lane, Suite 400
Austin, Texas 78754

Kenneth Bullock, Executive Director
Utah League of Cities and Towns
50 South 600 East, Suite 150
Salt Lake City, Utah 84102

Steven E. Jeffrey, Executive Director
Vermont League of Cities and Towns
89 Main Street, Suite 4
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Kim Winn, Executive Director
Virginia Municipal League
P.O. Box 12164 (13 East Franklin Street)
Richmond, Virginia 23241

Mike McCarty, CEO
Association of Washington Cities
1076 Franklin Street SE
Olympia, Washington 98501

Lisa Dooley, Executive Director
West Virginia Municipal League
2020 Kanawha Blvd.
East Charleston, West Virginia 25311

Jerry Deschane, Executive Director
League of Wisconsin Municipalities
202 State Street - Suite 300
Madison, Wisconsin 53703

Brian Dickson, President
Wyoming Association of Municipalities
315 West 27th Street
Cheyenne, Wyoming 82001 

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