With a pressing need for improvements to roads and bridges across Kentucky, three groups representing the state’s business community, cities, and counties released a statement on Thursday urging lawmakers to increase funding for transportation during the 2020 session.
A proposal to increase investment in Kentucky’s infrastructure fell short in the 2019 session, and the state continues its struggle to meet current needs while facing a loss of federal funds. A similar transportation bill is expected to be filed in the 2020 session as work continues on the state’s budget and Road Fund.
On Thursday, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ashli Watts, Kentucky League of Cities Executive Director J.D. Chaney, and Kentucky Association of Counties Executive Director Jim Henderson released a statement emphasizing the need for passage of transportation investment legislation this year:
“Now that the budget process is officially underway, it is time to reiterate a top priority for the 2020 session, which is to increase transportation funding across the Commonwealth. To continue economic growth, ensure safety for our citizens, and create better jobs, we must seize the opportunity to increase our commitment to the road fund and other modes of transportation. We simply cannot afford to wait. We urge the governor and the legislature to act now to increase funding for our transportation system.
“Improving access for our citizens and for visitors is paramount to the success of the Commonwealth. States cannot compete for new businesses, new jobs, or new tourism destinations without adequate infrastructure, and if we wait any longer to make these investments, Kentucky ultimately will fall behind. We cannot let that happen.”