In a recent phone call with Jeff Solsby, director of communications for the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), I asked him about the proposed legislation by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Texas’ senior senator.
She has introduced legislation that will allow states to opt out of the federal highway program. Rather than receiving funding for highway maintenance and construction via the federal formula, opt-out states would instead be rebated gas tax dollars generated within their borders to use on surface transportation projects.
Solsby’s reaction was that ARTBA says it’s not not spending a lot of time focusing on the bill. With SAFETEA-LU’s reauthorization less than six months away, he says the organization is not focused on one piece of legislation but on raising revenues for the Highway Trust Fund. “Anyway you slice it, the Highway Trust Fund faces a revenue shortfall. We’re focused more broadly on addressing the shortfall and increasing the revenue shortfall across all modes instead of one piece of legislation.”