Conference Urges Mayoral Representation on SAFETEA-LU Commissions
By Ron Thaniel
October 31, 2005
Conference of Mayors Executive Director Tom Cochran is supporting mayoral representation on the two key commissions established to determine future transportation infrastructure and financing needs with the enactment of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).
Cochranís request was contained in letters to President Bush, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, Senate Majority Leader Bill First (TN) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (NV), and Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert (IL) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA).
The letter was co'signed by the National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties. The letter stated, ďAs owners and operators of most of the nationís transportation infrastructure, city and county officials are very concerned with the adequacy of the Highway Trust Fund to meet anticipated long-term transportation needs and to ensure the continued integrity of the Interstate System.Ē
The National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission is mandated to complete a study on Highway Trust Fund (HTF) revenues and the impacts of these revenues for future highway and transit needs. The final report is due within 2 years of first meeting.
The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission will study the needs of the surface transportation system, the resources of the trust fund, long-term alternatives to replace or augment the Highway Trust Fund as a revenue source, and whether current revenues and projected revenues are enough to meet future transportation demands. Commission recommendations are to be reported to Congress by July 1, 2007.
In addition to the Administration and the Senate and House leadership, the letter was also sent to the leadership of the transportation committees in the Senate and House.
In the Senate, the letters were sent to Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chair Richard C. Shelby (AL) and Ranking Member Paul S. Sarbanes (MD), Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chair Ted Stevens and Ranking Member Daniel K. Inouye (HI), Committee on Environment and Public Works Chair James M. Inhofe (OK) and Ranking Member James M. Jeffords (VT), and Committee on Finance Chair Charles E. Grassley (IA) and Ranking Member Max Baucus (MT).
In the House, the Conference sent letters to Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Don Young (AK) and Ranking Member James L. Oberstar (MN) and Ways and Means Chair Bill Thomas (CA) and Ranking Member Charles B. Rangel (NY).
To view the Conference SAFETEA-LU report card visit our homepage at usmayors.org.