Sunday, February 02, 2020

T.R.U.S.T. announces 2020 legislative agenda for Transportation


TRUST ANNOUNCES 2020 LEGISLATIVE GOALS
Eight-year highway and bridge construction plan top priority

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, January 31, 2020 – Transportation Revenues Used Strictly For Transportation (TRUST), an advocacy group dedicated to funding and restoring Oklahoma’s transportation infrastructure, announced its 2020 legislative agenda today with protection of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) eight-year highway and bridge construction plan once again its top priority.

While the final FY21 budget will not be finalized by the legislature until the final days of the legislative session, TRUST leaders emphasized the importance of continuing to invest in Oklahoma’s highways and bridges. 

“Since 2006, the legislature has steadily invested in Oklahoma’s transportation infrastructure, most notably upgrading and modernizing bridges and highways across the state, and taxpayers are enjoying the benefits,” said TRUST president Neal McCaleb, former state transportation secretary and director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.  TRUST continues to be an active participant at the state Capitol, and our members have worked closely with the legislature to make genuine progress to modernize our highway and bridge infrastructure. The legislature and executive branch deserve much credit for their vision and support.”

TRUST co-chairman and former Governor Frank Keating commented, “Having a first-rate transportation infrastructure system grows an economy. This is a fact. Oklahomans have benefitted from a steady re-investment of our four-lane highways and bridges, however major projects, such as addressing our two-lane state highways, are still needed across Oklahoma. I firmly believe transportation investment should always be a core priority of the legislative and executive branches, and I am confident the legislative leadership and Governor Stitt will continue to recognize its vital importance as well.”

“Transportation investment is not an overnight process, and past budget challenges created a tough environment at the state Capitol,” said Kell Kelly, TRUST co-chairman. “In order for Oklahoma’s transportation system to continue to progress TRUST members will again advocate to the legislature that all transportation-derived revenues, such as motor fuel taxes and motor vehicle fees, be allocated strictly for transportation purposes.  From addressing state and county surface infrastructure needs to advanced development of our turnpike system to continued highway safety improvements, Oklahoma is moving in the right direction. Private sector businesses locate where transportation systems allow growth and profit. Oklahoma’s location allows easy access to either coast, however businesses will shy away if our transportation network does not keep pace with Texas and other progressive states.  I urge Governor Stitt and the legislature to continue their support of the current infrastructure plans which are allowing Oklahoma to invest in a true 21st century transportation network.”

The TRUST agenda also includes restoring monies to the CIRB fund for county highway and bridge needs, restoring all motor fuel taxes and motor vehicle fees to transportation programs, completion of Oklahoma’s new ports-of-entry (weigh stations), formulating equitable, but not punitive, alternative transportation funding and long-term funding of the federal Highway Trust Fund.


TRUST is an advocacy group dedicated to restoring Oklahoma’s transportation infrastructure.  We are committed to creating a culture within Oklahoma government that values and adequately funds transportation as a core priority. Since 2005 TRUST has grown into a diverse coalition of statewide organizations representing banking, energy, agri-business, construction, chambers of commerce, public safety, transportation and concerned citizens. To learn more please visit restoreTRUST.org.

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