Tuesday, January 10, 2012
News Roundup

2012 State of the State: Infrastructure Mentions

It's that time of year again... Governors across the nation are making State of the State speeches to set their vision and policy agenda for 2012.

Curious how they’re prioritizing infrastructure? Reforming how projects are funded? Planning on upgrading our water infrastructure and repair our roads/bridges? Stateline.org has compiled transcripts/video, and BAF created this webpage to serve as a one-stop-shop for any infrastructure-related mentions.

As of February 15, 2012...

  • Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) - Feb. 7 
  • Understands that safe and reliable roads and bridges are essential for economic growth and improving quality of life: “I have been fortunate this year to spend time in communities across our state. A concern I have heard over and over is the need for better roads and bridges to lead to greater economic opportunities and to improve their quality of life for all of our citizens. Trucks, school buses, farm equipment must now be diverted in parts of our rural areas due to bridges that need repair.  We have an obligation to preserve the roads we now have and to fix our bridges. We have the ability to finance a major infrastructure program.  We will work with local leaders to identify what roads need repair and we will get them fixed as soon as possible.”
  • Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) - Jan. 18 (VIDEO)
  • Discussed the balanced budget that he has submitted, which includes reductions in expenditures but also does not shortchange important investments: “It includes more than $1 billion for infrastructure projects, ranging from roads and airports to the Alaska Marine Highway and harbors.”
  • Arizona Gov. Jan. Brewer (R)-Jan. 9 (VIDEO - Scroll to 10:45)
  • Reaffirmed her support for linking Phoenix and Las Vegas via the future Interstate 11: "By the way – these are the two largest cities in the nation not connected by the interstate highway system. This project will promote commerce, tourism and trade across the western United States."
  • California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) - Jan. 18 (VIDEO
  • Discussed his continued support for high speed rail in his state by saying: “Just as bold is our plan to build a high speed rail system, connecting the Northern and Southern part of our state. This is not a new idea. As governor the last time, I signed legislation to study the concept. Now thirty years later, we are within weeks of a revised business plan that will enable us to begin initial construction before the year is out.” He went on to say that “If you believe that California will continue to grow, as I do, and that millions more people will be living in our state, this is a wise investment. Building new runways and expanding our airports and highways is the only alternative. That is not cheaper and will face even more political opposition.”
  • Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) - Jan. 12
  • Understands that to efficiently move goods and people, there needs to be better traffic management: “We are also proud of our work with communities along the I-70 corridor.We are moving forward to implement the most critical congestion relief projects: the widening of the eastbound Twin Tunnel in Idaho Springs, and the continuation of the new eastbound third lane to Floyd Hill.The Transportation Commission set aside $60 million to build the project by the end of 2013.It will be the first project to provide additional capacity since I-70 was built in the 1960s. Finally.”
  • Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) - Jan. 19 (VIDEO)
  • Discussed the importance of having a modern infrastructure and a well-functioning port in order to attract businesses to his state: “Whether they are accessing just-in-time supplies, moving products to market, or transporting employees between home and office, we want them to know they’ll find what they need in Seaford, not Shanghai, in Bear, not Bangalore. That is why last year we made the decision together to invest $40 million to further support our roads and bridges and we created the Delaware Infrastructure Fund, which has already paid off with Amazon’s decision to expand in Delaware. That is also why we invested $10 million in the Port of Wilmington. In the coming months, we will consider opportunities for a public/private partnership to expand and modernize the Port, significantly increasing our capacity to handle global trade. Doing so will not only protect those jobs currently at the Port but will sow the seeds of future growth as we leap ahead of our competitors.”
  • Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) - Jan. 10 (VIDEO - Scroll to 34:25)
  • Discussed the importance of infrastructure investment: "Infrastructure is a key building block for economic development and I believe Georgia is now at a historically-critical juncture when it comes to investment in this area." He went on to discuss specific transportation, port and water projects that he is supporting.
  • Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) - Jan. 23 (VIDEO)
  • Hits on several different infrastructure sectors including transportation, smart grid and technology and emphasized the importance of having a long term vision and strategy for growing his state’s economy and for creating jobs saying that: “But, investment is not only about immediate impacts to the economy. It is about our long term vision towards the future.”He also stated with regard to technology infrastructure:“Not only is it important to emphasize brick and mortar, we must also build an infrastructure for technology to meet the demands of the 21st century. This is the intellectual and social infrastructure that we must have to provide opportunities and experience for our people to become an advanced workforce that can compete in the global marketplace.” On the issue of smart grids he stated:“But more importantly, we need to create the infrastructure for stability. This means making the long-term infrastructure investments that ensure our electric grids are stable, reliable and modern enough to integrate alternative and renewable energy technologies. Our investment now will benefit future generations. Had we made this commitment in years past we would be benefitting from it today.”
  • Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter (R) - Jan. 9 (VIDEO – Scroll to 9:28)
  • Referenced role that targeted infrastructure investments have on economic growth as well as cited support for using public-private partnerships to leverage state investments. His Project 60 to strengthen Idaho’s economy includes a three-point plan that would improve the state’s infrastructure: "…ensuring that we are fully prepared to take advantage of economic opportunities, and create even more with a well-trained and motivated workforce, targeted infrastructure investments and minimal government red tape." Additionally he said: "And you will see a greater emphasis on building innovative public-private partnerships that leverage our limited resources toward advancing and achieving our goals. That’s especially true when it comes to fulfilling the benchmarks of Project 60, putting more of our 65,000 unemployed Idahoans back to work, and preparing our citizens to fill more of the 18,500 jobs that now remain vacant in Idaho.”
  • Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) - Feb. 1 (VIDEO)
  • Discussed the need for water infrastructure investment and recapped accomplishments with roads, bridges and schools: "But we've not just made Illinois a better place to do business, we've also invested in our public works - our highways, our bridges, our railroads and our schools - to make Illinois stronger. We've created good-paying jobs while laying the foundation for future growth. Thanks to our Illinois Jobs Now! plan, Illinois has the largest capital construction program in our history. Over the past three years, we have been building, repairing, and modernizing. Every day, you see the fruits of our labor... all across Illinois. We have improved 5,948 miles of highways and 842 bridges." and "Clean Water is the lifeblood of our people and our communities. Illinois is blessed with abundant water from Lake Michigan, to the Illinois River, to the Mighty Mississippi. But many Illinois residents are living with aging water mains that are nearly 100 years old. And scores of wastewater treatment facilities are in dire need of repair. The Illinois Jobs Agenda for 2012 will put thousands of people to work replacing broken water mains, building treatment plants, upgrading sewers, and cleaning up environmental threats. Working with mayors from Chicago and the suburbs to every part of downstate, we must invest in our Clean Water Initiative."
  • Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R)-Jan. 10 (VIDEO - Scroll to 14:30)
  • Discussed his plans to continue with record-setting investments into his state’s road and bridge infrastructure as part of his Major Moves initiative: "We will press hard to accelerate further the ahead-of-schedule, under-budget delivery of our Major Moves transportation program. In 2012 we will invest $1.2 billion in road and bridge construction, the sixth straight record-setting year."
  • Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R)-Jan. 10 (VIDEO – Scroll to 8:28)
  • Acknowledged that today’s economy is global in nature and that it is competing with the rest of the world for attracting new jobs, economic development and investment: "We now compete in a worldwide economy. We must compete with Brazilian ethanol, the Chinese production of technology, and with every other emerging nation ready to claim our economic mantle."
  • Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) - Feb. 1 (VIDEO)
  • Understands that modern infrastructure will strengthen the economy and help to create jobs: “By improving education and by harnessing innovation; by modernizing our Port, opening the Inter-County Connector, expanding rural broadband, building new schools, modern classrooms and other critical infrastructure; by making college and skills training more affordable for more families,… we have strengthened the connections and improved the conditions that allow business to create jobs.”
  • Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) - Jan. 18 (VIDEO)
  • Urged state lawmakers to conduct hearings on bills that will create a system of roads and bridges for the 21st century.  He also urged support for a bus rapid transit system to serve Southeastern Michigan:"We are underinvesting in our roads by $1.4 billion. No one in Michigan is satisfied with our roads. Let’s solve this problem now.”
  • Missouri Gov. Jeremiah Nixon (R) - Jan. 17 (VIDEO)
  • Understands the critical importance that  access to high speed broadband has to keeping his state competitive:“We’re also helping rural Missouri compete by dramatically expanding access to high-speed Internet.  Broadband access is a game-changer – for commerce…for farming…for education…for health care…for law enforcement and public safety.  Our extremely competitive MoBroadbandNow initiative is bringing a total investment of $311 million through 18 projects to wire communities across Missouri.”
  • New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch (D) - Jan. 31 (VIDEO

  • Understands that a reliable transportation network is essential to move goods and improve quality of life: "A good transportation network is the lifeblood of our economy. It is critical for transporting goods, for ensuring an enjoyable experience for our visitors, and for the quality of our citizens' lives. We've made great progress in the past seven years. By 2013, traffic will be flowing on a wider and safer Spaulding Turnpike, opening up new economic development opportunities from Rochester to Portsmouth. The Airport Access Road was completed ahead of schedule and under budget, bringing new opportunities to businesses in Greater Manchester. To reduce traffic for our visitors and our residents, we've installed open road tolling in Hampton and will complete open road tolling in Hooksett by mid-2013. Everywhere I go, I hear about the difference that these transportation projects made for our people and businesses.”

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D)-Jan. 4 (VIDEO - Scroll to 27:40)
  • Announced plans to create jobs while rebuilding roads and bridges. "New York Works" would replace 100 bridges, including the Tappan Zee Bridge, and repair 2,000 miles of roads. Energy systems, parks and flood control infrastructure would also be improved: "To make this happen, we will issue requests for proposals to implement a master plan to power our needs for the next half-century. We believe private companies will finance and build $2 billion in infrastructure to complete the system and build the capacity to supply New Yorkers.”
  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) - Feb. 7 (VIDEO)
  • Focused on the resurgence of manufacturing in Ohio and the importance of being able to move manufactured goods to market: 

    “If you make things and you can't move it, you might as well not even make it. We need to be the best in logistics. It's becoming an industry in the State of Ohio now. It's an industry in America. It's the ability to move things and move them quickly, by land and by sea and by air. And we're starting to win at this...But infrastructure has to be a critical part of the long-term growth of the State of Ohio and whether you agree with this or not, you agree with that principle and we have to make it work.”

  • Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) - Feb. 6 (VIDEO)
  • Understands that increased commerce and economic growth are outgrowths of a reliable and modern transportation network: “Having safe, modern and functional roads and bridges is vital to commerce and job creation. Unfortunately, Oklahoma has been at the top of the national list for bad bridges for years. That’s something we’re not proud of. To address that problem, I have proposed the “Bridge Improvement and Turnpike Modernization Plan” to fix all 706 of Oklahoma’s structurally deficient state highway bridges by 2019, moving Oklahoma from the list of worst-bridges in the country to the best. Today I’m asking the legislature to help me meet three goals outlined in this plan. First, I am proposing we restore $15 million in motor vehicle revenue back to the transportation budget that had previously been diverted to the general revenue fund. Second, I’m asking for your support in raising the cap on the ROADS fund in order to provide the necessary resources to improve our road and bridge system. Third, in the transportation plan, we are planning to repurpose 1,500 steel beams in good condition, taken from the old I-40 Crosstown expressway, to help construct 300 new county bridges. To further aid in this project, my plan includes an additional $20 million a year for the construction of county bridges. Lastly, our plan relieves congestion on the Creek and Kilpatrick Turnpikes, two of Oklahoma’s most widely travelled roads, without raising taxes or tolls. The Turnpike Authority has already begun work on that project."
  • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) - Feb. 7

  • Understands the important role that ports have to his state's and the region's economy and the need to deepen them to accommodate larger ships: "You see, the Panama Canal is being widened and deepened to accommodate the new generation of tankers. Those ships can dock anywhere on the East Coast, from Virginia to Boston. Anywhere except Philadelphia, where the river is too shallow.  We want those ships tying up to the docks of Philadelphia the world's best inland port, once we complete the work. Estimates suggest that, over the next five years, as many as 75,000 jobs will be created or saved, both directly and indirectly. This is not just a compact with today's economy. It's a vindication of our history.  Philadelphia was founded as a port city. It received countless people into the New World. Through war and peace it has been our gateway to the Atlantic and beyond, and we intend to keep that gate open and welcoming the world and its commerce. This is not only good for Pennsylvania. It is good for the region and the nation."

  • South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) - Jan. 18 
  • Spoke about the importance of port infrastructure and for the Port of Charleston to be prepared to accommodate the large post-Panamax ships that will become more common once the Panama Canal is widened in 2014: "Part of South Carolina’s advantage in recruiting industry is the Port of Charleston. It is a huge part of why companies like Bridgestone, like Continental, like Michelin come to and expand in our state. From the first day of our Administration, I have worked with our federal delegation to clear away all of the impediments to making Charleston the premier port in the southeast – starting with getting the port to the post-Panamax depth of 50 feet.”
  • Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) - Jan. 25
  • Understands that a long term and strategic infrastructure plan is the best way to keep his state competitive:“With Utah’s first 10-year Strategic Energy Plan that I put in place last year, we are creating the framework to secure our energy independence.  My administration is aggressively promoting responsible energy development in Utah.”
  • Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) – Jan. 11 
  • "Our economy cannot grow if our people and products cannot move. Last year’s major new construction transportation funding bill was significant.But more must be done. We all know that increased fuel efficiency and the emerging use of alternative fuel vehicles have caused gas tax revenues to decline, a trend that is likely to continue. Our growing deficit in maintenance funding is the result, and it must be addressed.Transportation is a core function of government.We must treat it like one.”
  • Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D)-Jan. 5 (VIDEO - Scroll to 16:20)
  • Supported expanding broadband access, reaffirmed commitment to rebuilding infrastructure smarter: (building on the lessons of Hurricane Irene): "If after Irene we can rebuild over 500 miles of damaged roads and 34 bridges in four months for a fraction of normal cost, with dwindling federal funds in our future, we must apply those lessons to maintaining and rebuilding Vermont’s aging transportation infrastructure from this point forward. We will build faster, smarter, and more economically.”
  • Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) – Jan. 10 (VIDEO - Scroll to 29:30)
  • "We can’t wait until roads, bridges and ferries are falling apart to fix them. We can’t kick the can down the road and saddle our future generations with the repairs we failed to make...Our transportation system is the lifeblood of our economy.It moves people to work and goods to market, and supports our tourism industry.If we don’t maintain and grow we come to a standstill.”
  • West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) – Jan. 12 
  • "It is essential that we don’t forget the importance that a modern infrastructure plays in West Virginia’s economic future. We must find innovative ways to invest in safe water and sewer systems, invest in new and improved schools, and invest in roads and broadband access. To aid in this goal I will submit legislation that will call for 50 percent of surplus revenues to be placed in an infrastructure fund once the Rainy Day Fund reaches 15 percent of the General Revenue.We have to invest in ourselves if we expect others to invest in us.”
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) - Jan. 25 (VIDEO - Scroll to 20:20)

  • Recognizes that a reliable transportation system is key to economic development: “Employers also told us that they need a 21st century infrastructure system to drive economic development.  After the previous administration raided more than a billion dollars out of the Transportation Fund, I took action to restore our commitment to good roads, freight rail and strong ports.  We know that a strong transportation system helps manufacturers and farmers get product to and from market and it keep good people on the job building that infrastructure.”

  • Wyoming Gov. Matthew Mead (R) Feb. 13 (VIDEO)

  • Understands that properly maintaining infrastructure will make it last longer:

    “Funding for communities and infrastructure are a high priority, even with the special budget discipline we have to exercise this year. We don’t want to be penny wise and pound foolish. We have sufficient resources to save wisely, invest wisely in our communities and our infrastructure, and at the same time make necessary reductions in budget growth. Just as homeowners don’t wait for the roof to fall in to fix it, we should not wait to fix and enhance our critical infrastructure -- roads, landfills, water systems, and the like. We invest for the future through careful saving and careful spending. I believe my budget recommendations strike the right balance.”

NOTE: BAF released a report in August 2011 comparing investments in transportation infrastructure in the United States with our global economic competitors.

Read the report and other supporting materials by clicking here: http://www.bafuture.org/report 

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