Tomblin urges Congress to fix shortfall in federal Highway Trust Fund

CHARLESTON, W. Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin joined the National Governors Association on Monday in urging Congress to resolve the federal Highway Trust Fund shortfall.

“Strengthening our infrastructure needs is critical to ensuring West Virginia can continue to recruit new economic development opportunities and maintain our competitiveness in today’s global market,” Tomblin said.

The U.S. Highway Trust Fund receives money from the federal fuel tax which is used to fund road construction and upkeep, among other things.

The federal transportation laws and programs are set to expire September 30, 2014.

“While we continue to make tough decisions to identify and apply new approaches to fund our state’s infrastructure improvements, we must have a reliable federal partner to support those projects,” Tomblin said. “I urge Congress to resolve the HTF shortfall and enact a long-term reauthorization of federal transportation programs.”

Politicians in Washington are attempting to save the fund, tossing out ideas such as increasing the federal gas tax to match transportation needs, which hasn’t been done in roughly two decades.

The Obama administration fears states would start to see the repercussions of the inaction as early as August.

Other organizations urging Congress to fix the issue include: Council of State Governments, International City/County Management Association, National Association of Counties, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Governors Association, National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

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