Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Local Leaders Call for Return of Transportation Funds

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Local Leaders Call for Return of Transportation Funds

Article excerpt

"While our organizations support federal efforts to balance budgets just as we do, year in and year out; we are here today to say that how that balance is achieved is of paramount importance to our federal, state, and local economies. Wise decisions will include investments in the future to ensure our nation is competitive and can get goods and services to globe markets ahead of our competitors," Mayor Barbara Larson, of Kalamazoo, Michigans aid at a joint press conference in the U.S. Capitol last week. Larson joined other state, local, corporate, and union leaders in urging full investment of federal transportation trust funds back into state and local economies.

Larson represented the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in a combined efforts advocating truth in transportation revenues with Governor Paul Patton of Kentucky and Governor Ben Nelson of Nebraska and business, labor, and farm leaders. Other speakers at the press conference included Delegate Carol Petzold of the Maryland General Assembly, representing the National Conference of State Legislatures; Marilyn Praissner, President of the Montgomery County, Maryland County Council, representing the National Association of Counties; Michael Starnes, chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Tom Chismadia, representing the national Association of Manufacturers; and Arthur Coia, General President of the Laborers International Union of the AFL-CIO. More than 1,000 corporations signed onto the joint statement urging greater investment in the nation's surface transportation system and insisting that Congress begin spending down the $20 billion balance in the trust fund on highways, transportation, congestion mitigation, and other transportation priorities.

"Wise decisions," Larson warned, "Will include investments in the future to ensure our nation is competitive and can get goods and services to global markets ahead of our competitors. …

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