With the budget still in limbo, the future of highway funding is starting to look hazy. It’s time to get things back in focus by reminding members of Congress just how many jobs are at risk if federal funding gets stuck behind another roadblock.
Hardhats for Highways is organizing a call to action for construction workers across the nation.
Starting April 1, 2014, contractors, construction business owners and labor leaders are asked to visit their Congressional delegations to deliver a hardhat affixed with a sticker detailing the number of jobs at risk in each firm. If the deluge of hardhats piling up in offices throughout the nation doesn’t get Congress’ attention, those numbers certainly will.
Hardhats for Highways aims to get the following message through to the Federal Government:
- Increase Revenue: Maintain the Highway Trust Fund by continuing the user fee based system that makes road users pay for road improvements. The user fees should be increased to a level that will restore its buying power to at least its 1993 level. Appropriate fees should be levied on vehicles that are fueled with alternative sources that are not currently subject to the user fee. Fees linked to motor vehicle usage such as a fee based on vehicle miles traveled, a sales tax on fuel sales, wholesale motor fuel fee, oil exploration fees, fees on natural gas used for transportation and others. The goal should be fully covering the cost of the transportation system that our country needs without deficit financing.
- Increased Alternative Funding and Financing: MAP-21 greatly increased the financing that is available to states through the TIFIA program. The TIFIA program must be maintained and new incentives should be included that encourage states to develop other alternative funding sources and financing opportunities that supplement Highway trust Fund revenue, including infrastructure banks, tolling, private investment, bonding, and others.
- Multi-Year Authorization: At the expiration of MAP-21 a long-term transportation reauthorization measure should be in place that provides the revenue needed for the Highway Trust Fund to support increased investment in highway, bridge and transit infrastructure that will both maintain our current system and allow it to expand to meet growing demands. Congress should pass five or six-year authorizations provide the transportation construction marketplace with stability and certainty. These market conditions allow state departments of transportation the ability to make long-term transportation plans and gives contractors the confidence to hire additional workers and buy equipment.
Anyone can also send an E-Hardhat, and can promote the organization and the movement online by affixing an e-sticker on any web page.
Visit Hardhats for Highways to learn more, send an E-Hardhat, or order stickers for your organization.