The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, along with several statewide organizations, wrote a letter to Kentucky’s Congressional delegation to immediately advance a bi-partisan, sustainable and long-term solution to the dissolving Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which is critical to the future of our infrastructure, which is critical to Kentucky’s economic growth and expansion.
The Senate passed a pair of measures in late July to address the HTF: one to authorize the HTF for six years with three years of funding and a second, three-month extension already passed by the House to keep the fund afloat, which expires October 29th. The Senate passed the House bill ostensibly to buy time for both congressional chambers to come to a long-term agreement.
The six-year bi-partisan bill was negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-OK., and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA. This bill identifies funding sources for three years and includes a measure to reauthorize the expired charter of the Export-Import Bank, another measure supported by the Kentucky Chamber, which appears to have the support of a significant majority in Congress.
Since 2001, spending from the HTF has consistently and increasingly outpaced revenues. Since 2008, $65.3B has been transferred to the HTF by the federal government. Experts predict over the next ten years, that the HTF in its current state will experience a $169B shortfall and require $175B in additional transfers to remain solvent.
The effects of the decline in revenues generated by the HTF has not only been felt on a national level, but on a state level as well. In 2014, Governor Steve Beshear predicted that inaction by Congress may result in a loss of $185M needed for projects in Kentucky. This comes at a critical time for Kentucky, as the summer months are considered ideal for construction programs. If Congress does not act, Kentucky can expect to see delayed and reduced reimbursements for projects.
With Congress returning from a month long break after Labor Day, the Kentucky Chamber urges you to take Kentucky’s significant transportation needs seriously and contact your Representative and urge passage of a long term solution to the HTF.
To contact your Representative: http://www.house.gov/representatives/#state_ks