By Carolyn Kramer, manager, Transportation Investment Advocacy Center

With about 100 transportation funding bills introduced this year in 38 states, it’s clear that many lawmakers outside Washington, D.C., understand the importance of supporting infrastructure investment. Some have passed measures signed into law by their governor, while others continue to shepherd proposals through their statehouse. In four states, lawmakers have helped place transportation funding initiatives on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

 Five of these state legislators will discuss their experiences and share advice on how to increase transportation funding at the 3rd Annual “National Workshop for State & Local Transportation Advocates,” held July 13 at the Washington Court Hotel in the Nation’s Capital. One session, “How to Get Legislators on your Side and Help Champions Win the Battle,” will feature:

  •  Indiana Rep. Ed Soliday (R- District 4), chairman of the Roads & Transportation Committee, who brokered a compromise with his state House colleagues to provide a one-time funding increase for state and local roads.
  • Nebraska Sen. Jim Smith (R- District 14), chair of the Transportation & Telecommunications Committee, who led the successful effort to override Gov. Pete Rickett’s (R) veto and increase the state’s gas tax by 6 cents-per-gallon.
  • Iowa Sen. Tod Bowman (D- District 29), chair of the Transportation Committee, who championed 2015 legislation that raised the state gas tax by 10 cents-per-gallon.

Mississippi Rep. Charles Busby (R- District 11) will join Jordan Marsh (S.C. Alliance to Fix Our Roads) and Tom Layfield (Alabama Transportation Builders Association) to discuss how to maintain momentum after a transportation funding bill stalls in the legislature.

 South Dakota Sen. Mike Vehle (R- District 20) will join Jake Cashion (North Carolina Chamber of Commerce) and Josh Moenning (4 Lanes for Nebraska) on the “Winning Transportation Funding Strategies in 2015” session to explore how his state successfully increased the state gas tax and transportation-related fees.

 Other sessions include:

 Dr. Alison Premo Black, chief economist at ARTBA, highlighting the latest research in transportation funding trends;

  • Dr. Stan Kaplowitz, professor of sociology at Michigan State University, discussing how policy characteristics and messaging can influence public support for raising the gas tax;
  • Jeff Loveng, CEO of SBL Strategies, sharing advice on promoting transportation funding and revenue initiatives to conservative audiences and building preemptive communication strategies;
  • Robert Latham, executive vice president of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors, revealing how transportation advocates in the commonwealth took the ‘next step’ after the state passed a major legislative funding victory.
  • Michael Quigley, executive director of California Alliance for Jobs, and Ramon Gaanderse, executive director of the Arizona Transportation Builders Association, exploring recent campaigns to increase local transportation funding.

The workshop is a signature program of ARTBA’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ (TIAC), a first-of-its kind, dynamic education program and Internet-based information resource designed to help private citizens, legislators, organizations and businesses successfully grow transportation investment at the state and local levels through the legislative and ballot initiative processes. It is being held in conjunction with ARTBA’s Public-Private Partnerships (P3) Conference.

 View the full workshop agenda and register at: www.transportationinvestment.org/state-funding-advocacy-workshop/workshops. Contact me at ckramer@artba.org or by phone at 202.289.4434 with questions or for more information about sponsorship opportunities.