The House Budget Committee this week passed a budget resolution that could leave the Highway Trust Fund—and states—in the lurch. I also have the usual updates on MAP-21 reauthorization, state transportation funding activities, public-private partnerships and tolling and state multi-modal strategies.

The final speaker at CSG’s Transportation Policy Academy in Portland, Oregon was someone who knows that city well. Bob Stacey is a member of the Portland Metro Council representing District 6. He previously served as Planning Director for the City of Portland, Senior Policy Advisor to Oregon Gov. Barbara Roberts, Executive Director for Policy and Planning at the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet), Chief of Staff to Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Oregon. Stacey spoke about the federal-state-local partnership on transportation, why the partnership isn’t working very well right now and how a metropolitan strategy might help redefine it.

Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Commissioner Charles Zelle has long been thinking about his state’s transportation future and is now the man in charge of making the case for additional investment to the public and policymakers. The longtime bus company executive, who was appointed commissioner by Gov. Mark Dayton last year and began work in January, is a veteran of two panels that in recent years sought to lay out a long-term transportation vision for the state (the most recent panel’s work is detailed in my recent Capitol Research brief “Transportation Funding Commissions II.”) Zelle spoke about those experiences, his new mission and the state’s transportation challenges during a public policy roundtable July 15th at the CSG Midwest Annual Conference in St. Paul. He also responded to questions from Midwestern state legislators who took part in the discussion.

Massachusetts, Texas and Wisconsin are among a list of states this year looking at how borrowing and tax increases fit into their futures as they try to meet transportation needs. I also have updates this week on transportation revenue measures under consideration in Arkansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Vermont and Virginia, plus a roundup of recent news and resources from the world of transportation public-private partnerships.

Before I depart for the long holiday weekend, I thought I would pass along some transportation policy-related links you might want to peruse in between turkey sandwiches, Black Friday sales and endless football over the coming days. There are items below about some potential new transportation leaders in Washington, a starter list of states that might address transportation revenue needs next year, and more.

A new report says Chicago could reduce congestion and increase mobility by building a $12 billion, 275-mile regional network of high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes among other infrastructure projects. The report comes just as several HOT lane projects prepare to come online in other parts of the country, as some toll road projects suffer growing pains, and as new data shows all-electronic tolling may now cost less to collect than fuel taxes. Here are some updates on recent developments.

Next month in New York City, InfraAmericas will host its eighth annual infrastructure forum on public-private partnerships (P3s). CSG is a supporting organization for the forum, which brings together state, federal and local policymakers and transportation officials, private sector developers, investors and others for two days of panels focused on the latest trends and projects in the P3 universe and what the future may hold for P3 deals. InfraAmericas wants more state government officials to attend and from what I’ve heard, there remains a great interest in state capitals with regards to how P3s can be used to finance transportation projects. That’s why CSG became involved with InfraAmericas in supporting the conference. Before I head up to the Big Apple (and hopefully some of you do to), I thought it would be a good time to catch up on some recent news and resources in the world of P3s and tolling. Below are some updates on P3 projects in several states as well as a look at how the federal authorization debate could shape how states make use of P3s and tolling in the future. But first I have more information about the InfraAmericas conference agenda and how you can register to attend.

Absent a consensus on how to address an ever-widening gap between state revenues available to spend on transportation infrastructure and how much it actually costs to maintain and improve it, a number of states in 2011 turned to specially appointed task forces and commissions for answers. Iowa, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington were among the states with panels to issue recommendations. This brief examines their processes and findings, how their funding recommendations have fared politically and the chances for future success.

Policymakers in Maryland are pondering how to move forward after the legislature wrapped up its session this week without finding new revenues for transportation. Meanwhile, Georgia continues to look ahead to this summer’s increasingly important referendum votes on regional transportation projects and the sales tax increases to fund them. Pennsylvania’s Auditor General tries to jumpstart transportation investment in his state. And Ohio looks to innovative revenue sources to tackle long-neglected projects.

Before I depart for the holidays, I thought I would leave you transportation policy fans with a few things to read on those iPads and Kindle Fires you may find under the tree Sunday morning. In what has become an annual tradition, it’s time to clear out the CSG Transportation inbox so we can start fresh in the New Year. There are lots of items below on many of the issues we cover regularly here on the blog including: state...