Focus on funding: the reauthorization of the nation's transportation funding will determine our infrastructure's future.

Author:Granholm, Jennifer

Transportation is an investment: it directly impacts the development of communities, it is a necessity for our economic competitiveness in a global economy, it influences the quality of our environment, and it creates jobs. In fact, for every $1 billion dollars invested in transportation infrastructure there are between 35,000 and 42,500 jobs created or retained. Unfortunately, federal investment in our nation's roads, bridges, public transit systems, marine ports is at an historic low and is far less than our global competitors. The upcoming discussions in Washington surrounding the reauthorization of the nation's transportation funding will determine not only the scope and direction of how we will rebuild our nation's infrastructure, but whether we'll do all that we can to create jobs and compete on a level playing field with our competitors around the globe.

Michigan will aggressively push the federal government to make a bold investment in our country's transportation and infrastructure because we cannot compete in the twenty-first century without bold action on both.

* Michigan citizens and businesses deserve greater equity for the tax dollars they contribute to the Highway Trust Fund. During the past five years, for every federal transportation tax dollar Michigan sends to Washington, we receive 91.3 cents back. Michigan transportation system has a significant impact on the national economy, and taxpayers here deserve a better rate of return on the tax dollars sent to Washington. Michigan will aggressively pursue equity.

* It is evident that Michigan must look beyond traditional transportation funding mechanisms. Beginning in 2010, if alternative revenue sources are not devised to meet our transportation needs, Michigan will be unable to match approximately $1 billion in federal aid for transit, roads and aviation. The federal funding discussion must provide for...

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