Improving federal transportation funding: an economic imperative for Michigan.

Author:Blouse, Dick

As regular commuters in Michigan, you do not need to be told that some of our roads and bridges are in sorry shape and there isn't an efficient, coordinated transit system. The state clearly needs more resources for improving our transportation infrastructure and mass transit. These are no-brainer observations.

What is not as obvious is Washington D.C.'s lack of interest in giving our state its fair share of funding. For example, we get only 91 cents back for roads and 48 cents back for transit on every dollar Michigan tax payers send to the U.S. Treasury. This means we donate a lot of our resources to other states. This has serious implications for Michigan's economic vitality.

After years of unsuccessfully being heard on the issue of federal transportation funding, a stronger and louder voice is needed in Washington D.C. to explain that inadequate federal transportation funding is a detriment to attracting investment and growing jobs. That is why the Chamber is a leading force in the Great Lakes Region Coalition, a grassroots initiative promoting a federal legislative agenda for growing the Midwest region's economy. The coalition includes over 30 chambers of commerce and 94,000 job providers in the Great Lakes area. Such a united front representing 12 diverse states with a third of the country's population is a powerful force.

One of the top priorities in the coalition's business agenda is increasing federal transportation funding for infrastructure improvements in the Great Lakes region. We are asking the federal government to adopt an intermodal transportation funding strategy for maintaining and developing the Midwest's roads, bridges, borders...

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