On Friday, August 22nd, Lacey Rains Lowe from the Planning and Development Department participated in a Transportation Roundtable in Springfield, IL. The Roundtable was hosted by U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL , Dist. 13) and former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Representatives from communities in District 13 and throughout the state had the opportunity to learn about transportation policies and funding. Much of the discussion centered on funding sources for transportation projects, including motor fuel taxes, and the possibilities of diversifying funding sources for infrastructure. The group also expressed frustration with the limitations of the 2012 transportation funding bill, MAP-21. Secretary LaHood stressed the importance of repairing the state’s transportation infrastructure, including waterways, roads, transit and rail in order build a strong economy.
The discussion also gave participants the chance to share their funding priorities with Rep. Davis. He and Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) have co-sponsored the Innovation in Surface Transportation Act (HR 4726), which would allocate a portion of each state’s federal transportation funding for grants to local communities. This program would allow for states to have greater control over the types of projects that are funded. Rep. Davis feels positive about the future of the legislation.