IN THE NEWS — Articles From Around the Country

White House to Congress – Fix Highway Funding After Recess

2014 (The Hill) — WASHINGTON — The White House said Thursday that Congress will have to make preventing a bankruptcy in federal transportation funding a priority after the Fourth of July holiday break. Read the full story.

Obama Urges Congress to Fund Infrastructure Projects

July 1, 2014 (New York Times) — WASHINGTON — President Obama called on congressional Republicans on Tuesday to take quick action to fund infrastructure projects throughout the country, arguing that failing to do so could mean huge layoffs for Americans this year. Read the full story.

Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

June 18, 2014 (Washington Post) — WASHINGTON — Two senators unveiled a bipartisan plan Wednesday to raise federal gasoline and diesel taxes for the first time in more than two decades, pitching the proposal as a solution to Congress’ struggle to pay for highway and transit programs. Read the full story.

Lawmakers Want State to Study if Mileage Fee Could Replace Gas Tax

May 14, 2014 (Los Angeles Times) — With California’s gas tax unable to keep up with road maintenance needs, one state lawmaker has proposed a study to determine the feasibility of instead taxing motorists based on the number of miles they drive. Read the full story.

Not Getting Their Money’s Worth

January 4, 2014 (New York Times) — At first glance, two recent crises to hit the White House — the revelations about unlawful surveillance and the botched health care rollout — have nothing in common. But each is a reminder of the increasing extent to which government work has been contracted out to private-sector companies. Currently, Washington spends about $500 billion a year on private-sector contracts, more than twice the amount in 2000. Read the full story.

Private Toll Road Investors Shift Revenue Risk to States

November 26, 2013 (Bloomberg.com) — Companies that build private toll roads are pressing states to assume more financial risk of traffic not meeting expectations, a change that benefits the operators while threatening to increase taxpayer costs. Read the full story.

Public-Private Partnerships Are Popular, But Are They Practical?

November 1, 2013 (Governing.com) — The message was clear: America’s infrastructure is struggling, but the private sector can help. “No one wants another bridge to collapse, as did the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge,” testified a Morgan Stanley official. That tragedy, which killed 13 people, underscores the need for expanded new, federally subsidized financing tools, he told Congress. Read the full story.

How Parking Meters Killed Privatization of Midway Airport

September 13, 2013 (Washington Post) — At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, the chairman of a major finance company addressed the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships. “Desperate government,” he said, “is our best customer.” Read the full story.

Across US, Bridges Crumble as Repair Funds Fall Short

September 3, 2013 (Los Angeles Times) — America’s roads and bridges have been eroding for decades, but the deeper they fall into disrepair, the less money there is to fix them. First, the recession crippled local budgets, cutting the money available for transportation projects. As states began to recover, the federal government adopted its own mandatory budget cuts via sequestration. Then last month, the federal legislation that annually funds transportation projects across the country hit a roadblock of Republican opposition that throttled multibillion-dollar transportation bills in the House and Senate. Read the full story.

The Loss of the Public Good

August 21, 2013 (Baltimore Sun) — Much of the rest of what’s considered “public” has become so shoddy that those who can afford to do so find private alternatives. As public schools deteriorate, the upper-middle class and wealthy send their kids to private ones. As public pools and playgrounds decay, the better-off buy memberships in private tennis and swimming clubs. As public hospitals decline, the well-off pay premium rates for private care. Read the full story.