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Posts Tagged ‘C. Kenneth Orski’

Obama’s FY 2017 Transportation Budget Proposal: Dead On Arrival

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 27, No. 1
In a gesture that looks more like a political testament than a realistic budget proposal, the Obama Administration unveiled a $4.1 trillion plan to fund the federal government in Fiscal Year 2017. The budget includes a hefty $98.1 billion for transportation— a 60% increase over the current annual spending level. To partly pay for the new spending, the Administration is calling for a $10 per barrel tax on oil that would translate roughly into a 25 cent/gallon increase in the price of gasoline at the pump.

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A Requiem for the Highway Trust Fund

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 8
The FAST Act, signed by the President on December 4, marks the beginning of the end for the Highway Trust Fund as we have known it. The $305 billion 5-year measure draws heavily on general funds (to the tune of $70 billion), and relegates to a virtual anachronism the “user pays” principle that was the philosophic foundation of the federal-aid highway program for the past 60 years.

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Multi-year Highway Bill Facing Continued Uncertainties

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 7 (update)
Those who have hoped to see an end to the seemingly endless series of short-term extensions and looked forward to a passage of the long- awaited multi-year transportation bill this year, may have to wait a bit longer. While the Senate has managed to pass its version of a six year bill (though only with enough funding for three years and employing questionable “pay-fors.”) the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee is still waiting to hear from the Ways and Means Committee concerning the funding of its proposed bill, an issue that threatens to delay committee markup and floor action past mid- October according to congressional sources.

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The Highway Bill: A Realistic Appraisal of its Year-End Prospects

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 7
Congress has approved and the President has signed a three-month extension of the federal highway program through October 29 —but with enough funding ($8 billion) to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent through December. When the lawmakers reconvene in September, attention will shift to the bigger struggle over how to craft and pay for a long term highway bill.

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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. 5 Submitted 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 […]

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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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