By Dean Franks, senior vice president, congressional relations, ARTBA

Members of the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee Feb. 13 began the process of enacting major infrastructure legislation this year with a kick-off hearing to look at the needs for transportation and broadband. Witnesses agreed that investment in infrastructure is urgently needed and the federal government must play a key role.

The conversation quickly turned to infrastructure funding, with existing motor fuels taxes and new Vehicle Miles Travelled fees discussed most frequently as the best options for surface transportation.

The hearing is the first on infrastructure in the Senate this year. Other committees are likely to continue the dialogue through the spring.  ARTBA is working with congressional leaders to ensure an infrastructure package includes a sustainable, user-fee based revenue solution to fix the Highway Trust Fund shortfall.