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Archive for the ‘Innovation Newsbriefs’ Category

A Lasting Solution to the Transportation Funding Crisis

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 6
Trust Fund spending could be curtailed by progressively shifting funding responsibilities for local transportation to the States and localities and limiting Trust Fund expenditures to projects and programs that represent core federal responsibilities or are of truly strategic or national significance.

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A Conservative Vision for the Future of the Highway Trust Fund

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Innovation NewsbriefsVol. 26, No. 5Submitted to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance in response to their invitation for written comments in connection with the hearings on Long-Term Financing of the Highway Trust Fund, June 17, and June 18, 2015 respectively.Many states, facing repeated short-term program extensions and anticipating uncertain prospects for increased congressional funding, have […]

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Some Fresh Thinking About  Funding  Infrastructure 

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 4
With the deadline to reauthorize the federal surface transportation program just twenty days away, the transportation community has given up hope of seeing Congress extend the program for several years at this time. Instead, they are watching House leaders work on a short term extension to fund the program through the end of the year, as announced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. This also seems to be the preferred approach of the Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

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A Fresh Approach to Funding Infrastructure Is Gaining Momentum

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 3
With no other revenue sources in sight, attention has focused on shifting a larger share of funding responsibility to the state and local level. It’s an approach that has been gaining traction not just among fiscal conservatives and congressional Republicans but also with the transportation advocacy group, Transportation for America (T4America) and the influential industry lobby, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and its Transportation Investment Advocates Council.

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Needed: A Fresh Approach to Funding America’s Infrastructure, Part 2

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Volume 26, No. 2-A
With state transportation revenue on the rise, it is argued, states can assume more funding responsibility for local infrastructure and significantly reduce the annual $13 billion shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund. This is not about devolution, contend advocates of this approach. It’s about a judicious reallocation of federal-state responsibilities, with the federal government able to refocus its gas tax revenue entirely on programs and infrastructure of national significance (notably the Interstate Highway network), thanks to the states’ enhanced fiscal capacity to take care of their highways, bridges and other local transportation needs.

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Needed: A Fresh Approach to Funding America’s Infrastructure

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 2
With the prospect of a gasoline tax increase pretty much ruled out both by the White House and the Republican House leadership, and with various proposals for funding transportation through corporate tax reform meeting with skepticism from leading Republican lawmakers and thus facing an uncertain future (not to mention their unlikely passage before the current transportation measure expires at the end of May) perhaps the time has come to reconsider the way we fund transportation. Maybe we should abandon our 50-year old reliance on the gasoline tax and the Highway Trust Fund as the sole source of federal revenue and consider additional ways of paying for transportation infrastructure.

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The Gas Tax and Some Fresh Thoughts on How to Pay For Transportation

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 1
With gasoline prices at a five year low, isn’t this the perfect time to raise the federal gas tax? A growing chorus of voices including several infuential Republican Senators — John Thune (R-SD), Bob Corker (R-TN) Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT)—seem to think so. So does the Washington Post and the New York Times. “Now is the best time Washington has seen in years to raise the federal gas tax,” a Post editorial said. “A modest increase in the gas tax would hardly be noticeable to most Americans,” echoed the New York Times…President Obama isn’t so sure.

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Rethinking Transportation Funding

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 16
Has the time come to reconsider the way we pay for transportation? Should the Highway Trust Fund and its fuel tax revenue continue as the main source of funding for the federal transportation program? If not, what are the alternatives? And more broadly, is the age of long term reauthorizations and of heavy reliance on federal funding, drawing to a close?

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Transportation Policy and Funding in the Post-Election Climate

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 15
The mid-term elections have put an end to any lingering hope of passing a long-term transportation bill during the congressional lame duck session. Such hope was recently expressed by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, and two Democratic senators, Tom Carper (D-DE) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee…But with the November elections heralding a fiscally more conservative political climate and with Congress preoccupied with a whole lot of unfinished business, passing a massive multi-year multi-billion funding bill for transportation during the lame duck session will be the last thing on the lawmakers’ minds.

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Obama’s Disappointing Legacy on Transportation Policy

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 14
For a long time, the nation’s transportation policy escaped critical scrutiny. Not any longer. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) — hardly a partisan anti-Obama cabal —has published a hard-hitting but carefully balanced critique of the Administration’s handling of the federal transportation program. Authored by Rebecca Strauss, associate editor of CFR’s “Renewing America” policy briefs, the article singles out a series of failed policy initiatives, notably Obama’s signature high-speed rail project (“it has turned into an embarrassment”), proposals for a $10 billion infrastructure bank and a $50 billion “Fix-it-First” program (both ignored by Congress); and failure to submit to Congress a legislative proposal for a multi-year surface transportation program for the first five-and-a-half years of the presidency.

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