Debt Financing

The fates of transportation revenue measures were coming down to the wire in three state capitals this week as lawmakers sought to meet budget and session deadlines. I also have updates on a compromise reached in Massachusetts and transportation funding legislation signed in South Carolina.

Transportation funding is getting a close look as lawmakers convene in special sessions in Austin and Olympia this week. I also have items on how Connecticut lawmakers recently approved a measure to make the state’s transportation fund off-limits to budget raids, how Michigan’s high gas prices may be hurting the chances of a gas tax increase, and how a compromise transportation plan might emerge in Pennsylvania. Plus, news from the world of public-private partnerships and additional links to recent items and resources.

A handful of states are still weighing transportation revenue options to meet infrastructure needs as the collapse of a bridge in Washington State continues to have reverberations around the country. I also have some updates on states pursuing public-private partnerships and expanded tolling and one more plug for an important conference on the subject that takes place later this month in New York City.

A blue ribbon panel in West Virginia said this week the state needs an additional $1.13 billion to $1.28 billion a year to build and maintain the state’s road system. They’ll take the month of June to assess the possible revenue options at a series of public hearings. There are also reports this week on a number of states facing disappointment on the transportation revenue front or still hoping to get something done in the waning days of legislative sessions.

A gas tax increase in Minnesota appears dead for this session. A plan to index Louisiana’s gas tax to inflation failed to win votes this week. And transportation funding plans are moving forward in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania but face political challenges ahead. Here’s the latest roundup of what’s going on around the country as states seek solutions to meeting their transportation needs.

An $8.5 billion transportation revenue package in Washington State, including a 10-cent gas tax hike, will have to wait for a special session after lawmakers adjourned their regular session this week without passing the package, which would have provided a companion to an $8.8 billion transportation budget they did approve. I also have updates on transportation funding developments in six other states.

The Vermont state legislature voted this week to increase gas taxes to raise additional revenues for transportation. The Green Mountain State became the latest state to address transportation funding needs during 2013. I also have updates on what’s going on in three other states with regards to transportation funding.

While a number of states have already completed work this year on transportation funding plans, officials in a number of other states are still hard at work seeking compromises, stating their cases and planning for the future if they’re ultimately unsuccessful in 2013. I have updates on nine of them, as well as links to a number of recent items on the trends in states seeking new transportation revenues this year.

Transportation plans in Maryland, Ohio and Virginia are one step closer to becoming a reality this week. For other states though, the debate over how to fund transportation going forward continues. I also have some noteworthy items below on the condition of America’s infrastructure and what states are doing about it.

Despite the potential for fiscal as well as perception problems down the road, a number of states continue to look to transportation revenues for their potential to fill budget holes elsewhere. Other states are taking the opposite path, trying to ensure that revenues intended for transportation are not siphoned away for other purposes. I also have updates on some states that continue to move forward with transportation revenue packages in legislative sessions around the country this year.