Governor Bentley Addresses Congress on Federal Transportation Funding Needs

Robert Bentley, Peter Shumlin

Governor’s message to Congress: States need certainty, flexibility and a strong partnership with federal transportation dollars

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Governor Robert Bentley on Wednesday testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee regarding the need for Congress to pass a long-term plan for transportation infrastructure investments.

In 2012, Congress passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which authorized funding for highways and transit for 27 months. The legislation expired in May 2015, and Governor Bentley, on behalf of the National Governors Association, urged Congress to pass a long-term funding bill that provides states the certainty needed to plan for an prioritize transportation projects. Governor Bentley currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Economic Development and Commerce Committee of the National Governors Association.

“This spring, Congress has the opportunity to set a new vision for infrastructure investment in America,” Governor Bentley said. “If we are serious about our economy and creating jobs, then Congress must prioritize investing in our transportation infrastructure. I am honored to be asked by the National Governors Association to represent this important need of states, and my goal is that Congress will consider these needs when developing new transportation funding legislation.”

During the Governor’s testimony, he outlined state priorities for Congress to consider when drafting legislation. The three priorities included: (1) strong federal-state partnerships, (2) certainty for long-term funding and (3) flexibility for states and projects. The Governor highlighted the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP) as an example of an innovative state program that has addressed serious transportation needs in the state. ATRIP leverages federal funds to update roads and bridges in all 67 Alabama counties.  He also emphasized the need to fund select projects of National and Regional Significance, like the Mobile River Bridge project.

Alabama has 74,000 miles of public roadways, including six major interstate highways, which are important to economic development.  Since Governor Bentley has been in office, more than 63,000 new and future jobs have been recruited to Alabama, making the state one of the top five business climates in the country.

Governor Bentley’s written testimony can be found here.

The full length video of today’s hearing, including Governor Bentley’s testimony can be found here.

Pictures from Governor Bentley’s visit to Washington, D.C. can be seen here.