NO. R-209. JOINT RESOLUTION URGING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO ENACT NEW FEDERAL HIGHWAY LEGISLATION WITH THE MAXIMUM LEVEL OF FUNDING THAT THE HIGHWAY TRUST FUND CAN SUPPORT.
Offered by: Representatives Alberico of Rutland City, Barbieri of Wallingford, Carmolli of Rutland City, Deuel of West Rutland, Howard of Rutland Town, Klopchin of Clarendon, Kreitzer of Rutland City, Mazzariello of Rutland City, Moore of Rutland City, Murphy of Ludlow, Smith of Sudbury, Snyder of Pittsford and Waite of Pawlet.
Whereas, a safe and efficient highway system is essential to the nation's international competitiveness, key to domestic productivity, and vital to our quality of life, and
Whereas, Vermont has critical highway investment needs that cannot be addressed with current financial resources. The Federal Highway Administration rates 1,783 miles of Vermont's most important roads in either poor or mediocre condition, and
Whereas, the current level of federal funding for the nation's highway system is inadequate to meet rehabilitation needs, to protect the safety of the traveling public, to begin solving congestion and rural access problems, to conduct adequate transportation research, and to keep the United States competitive in a global economy, and
Whereas, the federal highway program is financed by dedicated user fees collected from motorists to improve the highway system and deposited in the federal Highway Trust Fund. The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 transferred all federal motor fuel taxes into the Highway Trust Fund but provided no mechanism to ensure the funds are spent, and
Whereas, the 1998 Congressional budget would constrain federal highway spending well below the level of highway tax receipts, allowing the Highway Trust Fund's cash balance to grow from just over $22 billion today to more than $70 billion by 2003, and
Whereas, Vermont and other states will be prohibited from obligating any federal highway funds after April 30, 1998 unless Congress and the President enact new highway legislation by that date, and
Whereas, without federal highway funds, many states will be forced to delay lifesaving safety improvements, congestion relief projects, and other road and bridge improvements, now therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:
That the General Assembly urges the United States Congress to enact legislationreauthorizing the federal highway program by May 1, 1998, and be it further
Resolved: That the reauthorization bill should fund the federal highway program at the highest level that the user-financed Highway Trust Fund will support, and be it further
Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to each member of the Vermont Congressional Delegation and to the President of the United States.