Highway Bill = Jobs Bill

We've all been waiting with baited breath for the introduction and passage of the next highway bill. The new transportation bill is expected to debut July 7 (or so we hope). But even if the new bill is introduced and somehow miraculously passes into law quickly, there will still be some hurdles. First, states are strapped for cash and may not be able to find funds to match every Federal dollar, therefore they will not be able to use those Federal dollars to fix their local roads. Second, state and municipal budget battles are forcing taxpayers to choose between fixing Main Street or laying off little Timmy's teacher. This of course is the wrong argument. Roads shouldn't be pitted against education needs, but in my own backyard in Wisconsin and across many other communities across the nation, this type of either/or is being discussed. Now is the time for some tough decisions by our politicians who will need to understand that they will not get everything their party wants or desires while balancing the budget. Yes – spending needs to be controlled and cuts need to be made, but it doesn't have to be all cut, cut, cut. There are alternatives that can be explored. While our economy is still crawling, we have a highway bill languishing that could put people to work. It's frustrating to watch the games being played in Washington while real people's lives are being affected. If you're as frustrated as I am, here's how to contact your representative and tell them to get busy creating jobs by passing the next highway bill. Related articles How to fix American transportation (politico.com) Kerry on Transportation Funding: "We're in a Crazy Place Right Now" (dc.streetsblog.org) Rand - Highway Infrastructure and the Economy: Implications for Federal Policy (bespacific.com) Interstate Highways as a Long-Haul Project (online.wsj.com)

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