Infrastructure Issues Kick Off 2017 State Legislative Sessions


By the end of this week 40 states will have begun their legislative sessions.  With it comes the pomp and circumstance of swearing in ceremonies, gubernatorial inaugurations, committee assignments and, most importantly, settling in to do great work for the people of their state.

As we’ve previously looked at states gearing up to make major infrastructure decisions in 2017, we have already seen either discussion or movement in many legislatures.  Whether it’s a gubernatorial proposal or potential bill, here’s a taste of what we’re seeing coast to coast:

  • Indiana’s legislature will again explore the idea of increasing its gas tax this session. Just last week the House Republicans led by Speaker Brian Bosma introduced a long-term funding plan that includes a 10-cent per gallon gas tax increase.
  • New Mexico’s legislature will take up a bill that will give cities and counties the ability to consider gas tax increases to pay for road improvements at the local level. A bill giving cities and counties the option of putting up to a 5 cent per gallon tax increase on their local ballots has been introduced.
  • In Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder (R) visited Flint to sign a bill into law that would requires quicker notification about elevated lead levels in the water.
  • Minnesota’s Governor Mark Dayton (D) has proposed a bonding bill that includes $1.5 billion in public construction projects. Many of these projects include infrastructure items like wastewater infrastructure repairs and road and bridge renovations.  The Governor’s proposal includes many projects that were approved by the legislature
  • Tennessee’s legislature will consider a proposal championed by Governor Bill Haslam (R) and the state’s Transportation Commissioner. The funding proposal includes a 9-cent per gallon gas tax increase and a 12-cent increase on diesel.

The action currently underway in these states trends with much of what we’re hearing from groups like the National Conference of State Legislatures and Council of State Governments. These group pull together both issues- and states-to-watch lists at the beginning of each session and infrastructure frequently sits near the top the list both nationally and individually.  To see the type of bills ASCE is following in your state visit our legislative tracking website and click on your state.

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