IN THE NEWS — Articles From Around the Country

Transportation advocates to regroup after amendment failure — Local transportation advocates are disappointed the Minnesota Legislature didn’t sign off on a constitutional amendment to dedicate auto parts sales and repair taxes toward fixing roads and bridges. The amendment would have meant about $250 million in auto-parts sales taxes would be set aside for transportation projects each year. Advocates argued the approach would mean just as much funding as a 9-cent gas tax increase. — Trey Mewes for The Free Press — June 3, 2018

Over Half of Highway Contractors Experience Work Zone Crashes, AGC Survey Finds — A national surveywork zone crashes — A  of 550 highway contractors conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America found that 54 percent of them said motor vehicles crashed into their construction work zones during the past year. On top of that, 48 percent of contractors who experienced  reported injuries to either motor vehicle operators or passengers, while 24 percent of those crashes involved a driver or passenger fatality. — AASHTO Journal — June 1, 2018

Federal infrastructure plan could borrow from Southern Nevada — Federal lawmakers could follow Southern Nevada’s lead in implementing a fuel revenue indexing tax to help fund infrastructure projects, including an extension of Interstate 11 from Hoover Dam to Phoenix, the chairman of the House Transportation Committee said Tuesday. Without providing specifics, Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., said he is working with Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., in crafting an infrastructure policy plan set for release in June, aimed at building and repairing roads, bridges, airports, seaports and other facilities nationwide. — Art Marroquin for the Las Vegas Review-Journal

Trump’s infrastructure plan hits a dead end — President Trump’s legislative framework for a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s infrastructure appears all but dead in Congress. Lawmakers are focused on other legislative matters, and Democrats say the latest “infrastructure week” that started Sunday has done little to reinvigorate the president’s plan. — Mallory Shelbourne for The Hill — May 17, 2018

Transportation funding emerging as election battleground issue in Wisconsin — The fight over road funding in Wisconsin seem like it’s turning into an election issue for this fall. And maybe it should, says Onalaska state rep. Steve Doyle, because the lack of state help to local governments to fix roads has created some chronically bad road situations. — Mitch Reynolds for WIZM News Talk — May 16, 2018

Webinar Examines the Road Ahead for Highway Funding — The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials along with the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association held a free live-streaming webinar on May 14 entitled The State of Highway Investment: Plans, Promises and Predictions, focusing on both current trends and future plans for federal, state, and local surface transportation investments – especially in terms of what’s happening now with “road dollars” and what’s likely to happen in the near future. — AASHTO News Notes — May 15, 2018

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao Keeps All Options Open for Funding Infrastructure — The Trump administration still is sifting through a slew of financing mechanisms, from a vehicle miles traveled fee to a fuel tax, to bolster infrastructure funding, according to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. — Eleanor Lamb for Transport Topics — May 14, 2018

Small Business Committee Examines Infrastructure Needs — In the run-up to the annual Infrastructure Week nationwide advocacy event, the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing on April 25 to highlight the state of America’s infrastructure and how it impacts small businesses. Committee Chairman Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, noted that small businesses – which make up 48 percent of the private sector and create almost 62 percent of all new jobs – are being negatively affected by the poor condition of the U.S. transportation system. — AASHTO Journal — May 4, 2018

Trump’s infrastructure push hits wall in Congress — Less than a month after its release, President Trump‘s infrastructure plan appears to have crashed and burned in Congress. Republicans are openly questioning whether action on the issue is likely, while their leaders are moving on to other priorities. — Mallory Shelbourne for The Hill — March 10, 2018

Drivers would pay tax on miles traveled under lawmaker’s plan — Drivers could pay a tax based on how many miles their vehicles travel under a plan being pushed by Missouri Rep. Sam Graves, who’s vying to become the powerful new chairman of the House Transportation Committee. While exact plans for such a tax remain vague, the fees could be calculated based on odometer checks, GPS devices, cellular technology or radio-frequency identification devices that would track how far a vehicle travels and charge drivers accordingly. — Lindsay Wise for Miami Herald — March 7, 2018