BUILD IT Coalition Commends Legislators Supportive of Transportation Investment

Baton Rouge, La. (May 22, 2017) – The statewide coalition for transportation investment, BUILD IT: Businesses United for Improving Louisiana’s Development by Investing in Transportation, today released a commendation of legislators supporting increased transportation funding. The full statement is below.

 

A Resolution of the BUILD IT Coalition Commending Legislators Who Support Transportation

Whereas, the chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and statewide business associations across Louisiana have formed the BUILD IT Coalition to acknowledge that the deplorable condition of Louisiana’s roads is terrible for commerce and trade, and to demand that funding for transportation across Louisiana should be enacted immediately;

Whereas, our state’s economy is weak and needs increased jobs and economic activity immediately through an increase in transportation funding;

Whereas, Republican Representative Steve Carter has filed HB 632, which would immediately increase funding for transportation and build and repair roads in every parish in Louisiana and provides for unprecedented accountability and transparency of how the roads funds are to be spent;

Whereas, a state panel of experts determined that the state would need $700 million more per year to address the $13.1 billion maintenance backlog and the $7 billion additional needed for new roads and infrastructure, but HB 632 would generate $510 million;

Whereas, 17 additional cents is the amount that the gas tax would be valued at today if it had kept up with inflation since the last time a change was enacted in 1989, and would cost the average driver less than $120 per year, less than $10 per month, or the about the price of one cup of coffee per week;

Whereas, 100% of the new dollars in HB 632 would go to construction directly, and all categories are spelled out explicitly, item by item, in the legislation, and zero new dollars go to department bureaucracy or increased government salaries and benefits;

Whereas, a gas tax is a preferred, conservative source of tax revenue because it is a user fee, where the roads to be built are to be paid for by their users and not spent on other unrelated things; and

Whereas, if a major new revenue increase is not passed this year, our next opportunity will not come until 2021;

Therefore, the chambers of commerce, business leaders, economic development organizations, and business associations of the BUILD IT Coalition commend Republican Representative Steve Carter; Representative Paula Davis, Representative Barry Ivey, Representative Clay Schexnayder, and Representative Julie Stokes for their choice to put Louisiana first when voting in support of HB 632 in House Ways and Means Committee;

Furthermore, these business organizations commend Democrat members of the Ways and Means Committee for their votes in support of transportation funding, including Representative Joseph Bouie, Representative Jimmy Harris, Representative Marcus Hunter, Representative Ted James, and Representative Major Thibaut; and

Furthermore, these business organizations call on all legislators of the House of Representatives to support and vote in favor of HB 632, a bill representing conservative values in favor of increasing jobs, trade, and commerce for the State of Louisiana.

BUILD IT Coalition members — representing 35 statewide, regional, and local economic development and industry groups — so far include:

Ascension Chamber of Commerce
Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC)
Blueprint Louisiana
Capital Region Industry for Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions (CRISIS)
Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX)
Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance (CLEDA)
Committee of One Hundred Inc. NW Louisiana
East Feliciana Parish Chamber of Commerce
Evangeline Parish Industrial Board
Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance (GBRIA)
Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.)
Greater Pointe Coupee Chamber of Commerce
Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce
I-49 South Coalition
Iberville Chamber of Commerce
Jeff Davis Parish Economic Development
Jefferson Business Council
Jefferson Chamber of Commerce
Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO)
Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission
Lafayette Economic Development Authority
Louisiana Chemical Association (LCA)
LA Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus
Louisiana Travel Promotion Association
New Orleans Chamber
North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP)
Northeast Louisiana Economic Alliance (NELEA)
One Acadiana
Ports Association of Louisiana
South Louisiana Economic Council (SLEC)
SoLA Super Region
St. Mary Chamber of Commerce
St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce
SWLA Economic Development Alliance
West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce

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