State capitals were where the action was in 2013, with six states approving significant revenue packages and a number of others setting in motion plans for 2014, when the activity is expected to continue around the country. Some of the attention now shifts back to Washington as Congress must again consider legislation to authorize federal transportation programs and decide what to do about the dwindling Highway Trust Fund and as the legacy of the 2012 legislation, known as MAP-21, is cemented. Meanwhile public-private partnerships, which have helped some states fund pricey transportation projects and weather fiscal uncertainty in recent years, will likely continue to evolve in the year ahead. All this as officials at all levels of government and other stakeholders continue to seek approaches to ensure the vision of a multi-modal future for communities and commerce is realized. Here’s my expanded article on the top 5 issues in transportation for 2014 and a wide variety of additional CSG and non-CSG resources where you can read more.

Day two of the CSG Transportation Policy Academy in Washington, DC included a transportation policy roundtable featuring a variety of transportation stakeholders and experts. Among them was Joshua Schank, President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation, a DC-based think tank and non-profit foundation with the mission of improving transportation policy and leadership. Among the topics he addressed: whether the transportation funding package passed in Virginia this year could influence Congress, what bipartisan cooperation on a water resources bill means for the chances for MAP-21 reauthorization, a recent proposal on interstate tolling, Oregon’s mileage-based user fee program and state and federal accountability initiatives.

With the government shutdown continuing into a second week, there may be a whole lot less bureaucracy in Washington these days. But that actually may be throwing up some roadblocks for the completion of transportation projects around the country. I also have links to some recent reports on performance measurement, transportation funding and why some public-private partnerships fail.

Evaluating the performance of state programs has become more important than ever. Despite shrinking revenues, states are being bombarded with greater demand for services. Citizens not only want increased access to programs, but also expect these programs to be run efficiently. At this intersection of demand, limited resources and the watchful eyes of taxpayers sits the policymaker or agency administrator trying to decide how best to move forward. Measuring performance and using performance data to strategically place resources are key to implementing the accountable, transparent and results-focused governance policies that citizens demand. This session educated conference attendees on how “Results First” works and why using this approach to policy decision-making can lead to better, more efficient use of scarce state dollars.

Evaluating the performance of state programs has become more important than ever. Despite shrinking revenues, states are being bombarded with greater demand for services. Citizens not only want increased access to programs, but also expect these programs to be run efficiently. At this intersection of demand, limited resources and the watchful eyes of taxpayers sits the policymaker or agency administrator trying to decide how best to move forward. Measuring performance and using performance data to strategically place resources are key to implementing the accountable, transparent and results-focused governance policies that citizens demand. This session educated conference attendees on how “Results First” works and why using this approach to policy decision-making can lead to better, more efficient use of scarce state dollars.

Evaluating the performance of state programs has become more important than ever. Despite shrinking revenues, states are being bombarded with greater demand for services. Citizens not only want increased access to programs, but also expect these programs to be run efficiently. At this intersection of demand, limited resources and the watchful eyes of taxpayers sits the policymaker or agency administrator trying to decide how best to move forward. Measuring performance and using performance data to strategically place resources are key to implementing the accountable, transparent and results-focused governance policies that citizens demand. This session educated conference attendees on how “Results First” works and why using this approach to policy decision-making can lead to better, more efficient use of scarce state dollars.

Do you know how much bang for the buck your state is getting from the money it spends?

That’s an important question to answer, said Gary VanLandingham, director of the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative. He spoke during Thursday’s “Results First—Cost-Benefit Approaches to State Policymaking.”

I have a new Capitol Research brief out this week looking at the “Changing Face of Transportation Revenues.” In it, I talk with university research professors and other transportation experts about the strategies states have pursued this year to fund transportation investment. In honor of the report’s release, I thought I’d pass along a few updates on what’s happening in a few other states. I also have updates below on tolling, public private partnerships, infrastructure conditions and performance measurement.

Interstate 70 is a major artery through the nation’s mid-section that extends from Utah to Maryland. The halfway point on that journey lies somewhere near Kansas City, the site of the 2013 CSG National Conference. Like a lot of the nation’s aging infrastructure, I-70 needs to be rebuilt to better serve today’s transportation needs, said Dave Nichols, director of the Missouri Department of Transportation—or MoDOT— who will speak Sept. 20 at a session hosted by the CSG Transportation Public Policy Committee. But like a lot of other states, Missouri is struggling to determine where the dollars to do that will come from, even as MoDOT has made significant strides in recent years to convince Missourians their tax dollars that go to transportation are being well spent.

As state leaders continue their search for better, more efficient ways of doing business, a few strategies that stand out have emerged in recent years. One strategy—using an evidence-based, rigorous cost-benefit model to make policy decisions—is being put into place in a number of states thanks to the efforts of the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative. To help state policymakers learn more about the Results First initiative, The Council of State Governments will hold a special half-day, invitation-only information session in conjunction with CSG’s 2013 National Conference in Kansas City from 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, Sept. 19.

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