2013 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 2013.
Curious how they’re prioritizing infrastructure? Reforming how projects are funded? Planning on upgrading our water infrastructure and repair our roads/bridges? BAF created this webpage to serve as a one-stop-shop for any infrastructure-related mentions.
As of February 4, 2013...
- Alabama Gov. Robert Bently (R) -February 5, 2013
Governor Bentley knows that companies depend on well-functioning infrastructure when they make decisions to locate factories:
“Last year, cities and counties across this state were finally able to begin much-needed improvements to their roads and bridges. We launched the largest road and bridge improvement program in Alabama’s history. ATRIP – the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program – allows counties to make much-needed repairs to roads and bridges. As of this week, 439 road and bridge projects have been approved. 61 of Alabama’s 67 counties are seeing their roads repaired and bridges fixed. 614 million dollars in projects have been approved.
Everyone benefits from ATRIP. When companies build new factories, they look for areas with good roads and bridges. ATRIP is giving them what they need.”
Link to Address: http://governor.state.al.us/news/news_detail.aspx?ID=7528
- California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) - Jan. 24, 2013
Whether it’s by road or by rail, Governor Brown knows that having a modern and dependable transportation system is the ticket to economic prosperity:
“In the years following World War II, California embarked on a vast program to build highway, bridges and roads.
Today, California’s highways are asked to accommodate more vehicle traffic than any other state in the nation. Most were constructed before we knew about climate change and the lethal effects of dirty air. We now expect more.
I have directed our Transportation Agency to review thoroughly our current priorities and explore long-term funding options.
Last year, you authorized another big project: High Speed Rail. Yes, it is bold but so is everything else about California.
Electrified trains are part of the future. China already has 5000 miles of high speed rail and intends to double that. Spain has 1600 miles and is building more. More than a dozen other countries have their own successful high speed rail systems. Even Morocco is building one.
It has taken great perseverance to get us this far. I signed the original high speed rail Authority in 1982—over 30 years ago. In 2013, we will finally break ground and start construction.”
Link to Address: http://gov.ca.gov/home.php
- Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D) - Jan. 8, 2013
Governor Malloy understands that infrastructure making infrastructure more resilient can better protect lives and property in the event of severe storms or other emergencies:
“In 2011, Connecticut was rocked by the worst winter in our history, two storms packing a one-two punch the likes of which we hadn’t seen in more than 25 years. Tropical Storm Irene and the October Nor’easter revealed holes in our emergency response system that should have been addressed years, if not decades ago.
It was a wake-up call… and we woke up.
We put in place new procedures to better coordinate our emergency response infrastructure.
We commissioned a “Two Storm Panel” to investigate exactly what went wrong and to determine what needed to be done to prevent unacceptable power and communication disruptions. That panel led directly to the passage of tough new laws; laws that hold Connecticut utility companies accountable for how they respond to emergencies.
And we created a new energy micro-grid program to increase energy reliability in critical areas.
These weren’t quick fixes or window dressing. They were the result of saying we’d had enough – it was time to do more.
What does it all mean for Connecticut residents? We know we will again feel the brunt of powerful weather. But we can tell our citizens that their state is more prepared for future challenges, that their families will be safer when disaster strikes, and that the odds of anyone having to needlessly suffer through prolonged power outages have been greatly diminished.
When Hurricane Sandy struck, we saw results from the work we’d done together. While we can never entirely prevent damage or power outages, the response was better and faster."
Link to Address: http://www.governor.ct.gov/malloy/cwp/view.asp?Q=516548&A=11
- Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) - Jan. 17, 2013
Governor Markell understands that in order to grow his state’s economy energy infrastructure must be efficient and reliable:
“For manufacturers and other businesses, we know the reliability and cost of energy is key. We need to expand our energy portfolio, reduce costs and improve air quality.
….First, we import too much of our electricity from dirty and expensive sources. Over the last four years, we have reduced emissions more than any other state, while also reducing energy bills and health impacts by hundreds of millions of dollars. But we need more local generation. That is why we support numerous utility-scale clean and efficient natural gas plants and cost-effective clean energy projects – Calpine’s new Dover plant, the conversion of NRG’s Energy Center, the Municipal Electric Corporation’s new Smyrna plant, and numerous solar, biogas and fuel cell projects.
Second, we need to expand natural gas infrastructure across our state. Too many in Delaware are paying too much for energy because they are too far from a pipeline to bring them affordable natural gas. The energy savings from fuel switching are substantial and can cover the costs of new infrastructure. To help businesses and residents save money, we are working with both Delmarva and Chesapeake to make it easier for businesses to switch to cheaper and cleaner energy.
Third, as Senator Harris McDowell often says, the cheapest energy remains the energy we don’t use. We have made progress on improving energy efficiency working with the Delaware Electric Co-op, but we can do more to help save money by making efficiency Delaware’s “first fuel.” This year, let’s pass legislation to encourage our utilities to prioritize energy efficiency when it is cheaper than buying electricity from the grid.
These steps to encourage entrepreneurship and keep Delaware energy competitive go hand-in-hand with our efforts to improve our schools, strengthen our workforce, and enhance our quality of life. They are all part of our larger effort to make Delaware globally competitive as a place to do business and create jobs. These efforts have paid off in recent years, and they continue to pay off. “
- Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) - March 5, 2013
Governor Scott knows that investments in making his state’s seaports competitive will result in increased economic growth and job creation:
“Companies like Northrop Grumman, Johnson & Johnson and Goya show how manufacturing businesses - combined with Florida's great location and 15 seaports - means more jobs.
Bill Johnson, Director of the Port of Miami and Chairman of the Florida Ports Council, is also here. When the Miami port dredge project is completed, along with the Panama Canal expansion, thousands of new jobs will be created.
Wes, Dave, Frank and Bill - will you all please stand?
Please join me in honoring these great leaders in job-creation here today and all the manufacturing leaders and port directors in Florida.”
- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) - Jan. 17, 2013
Whether it is airports or seaport, Governor Deal understands their importance to goods and people movement and an economic engine to his state:
“Our state is blessed to have the busiest airport in the world in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport. This provides us with rapid access to and from about 80 percent of the U.S. population within two hours. It is also one of the reasons certain businesses are coming to our state.
Another asset is the Port of Savannah, the fourth largest container port in the country and the second largest on the East Coast. As you know, we have worked for many years to expand the Savannah Harbor and deepen the channel in order to allow the larger vessels that will soon be coming through the Panama Canal to dock in our state. We are very pleased that last fall we succeeded in getting a positive Record of Decision from the federal government. This is a major milestone on this project.”
- Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) - Jan. 22, 2013
With interest rates at all time lows, Governor Abercrombie knows that the climate for infrastructure investment is perfect:
“The question is, will we continue to invest in the economy via construction and repair/maintenance projects and public private ventures. Not only is this important to ensure that communities, schools and our residents continue to have much needed infrastructure, buildings and improvements, but we can do so at historic low interests rates, saving the state millions of dollars in debt service. More importantly, these projects could mean that the state not only will be investing back into our economy, but through partnerships generate needed revenue not otherwise available. I have asked Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui to take a lead role in working to expedite addressing this opportunity."
Link to Address: http://governor.hawaii.gov/2013-state-of-the-state/
- Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) - February 6, 2013
Ensuring access to clean drinking water is a priority for Governor Quinn:
Some of the pipes still in use in Chicago were laid when Ulysses S. Grant was president of our country.
That’s why one year ago, right here in this chamber, I made a commitment to every Illinois resident to update our water systems and make sure that everyone has access to clean drinking water.
Through our Illinois Clean Water Initiative, we’re investing $1 billion in clean water…supporting more than 28,000 jobs to replace broken water systems, upgrade sewers, and clean up environmental threats.”
- Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) - Jan. 22, 2013
In laying out his plan to create more jobs and improve Indiana’s economic competitiveness, Governor Pence understands that an efficient and reliable transportation system is essential:
“And since roads mean jobs, we're investing nearly $347 million in excess reserves on Indiana's roads, bridges and infrastructure.”
- Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) - Jan. 15, 2013
Smart infrastructure policy is not always about new investment. Reforming outdated or redundant policies is just as important. Governor Brownback understands that bringing greater accountability to government will bring greater efficiency:
“My administration has worked to restructure and reform state government to be more efficient and more effective. But there is a lot more we can do.
One of the clearest examples of duplication in state government is the fact that we have two highway departments: the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Turnpike Authority.
It is time that we realize the efficiencies to be gained by placing these two operations under the same umbrella. We don’t need two highway departments in Kansas. One is enough.
By bringing these two large organizations together under the direction of the Secretary of Transportation, we will serve the public better and more efficiently.”
- Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) - February 5, 2013
Governor LePage knows that access to affordable energy is important for citizens and businesses alike:
“The average Maine family spends more than $3,000 dollars per year to fill their oil tank. With access to natural gas, this same family could save an average of $800 dollars per year.
My predecessor fast tracked permitting for wind projects; I am going to do the same for all natural gas infrastructure and Maine businesses.
And we should continue to not pick favorites when it comes to energy, and I welcome every energy source that is cost effective for hard working, struggling Maine families.
- Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) - January 30, 2013
Governor O’Malley knows that strategic investments in infrastructure has the ability to create jobs and to improve quality of life:
“We have the worst traffic congestion in the country. Building a 21st century transportation network won’t happen by itself. We could be creating thousands of jobs and alleviating traffic congestion at the same time. We can either figure this out together, or every citizen in our State will continue to waste more time and more money sitting in more traffic.”
- Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) - January 16, 2013
Governor Patrick knows that smart investments in infrastructure promote economic growth:
“We invest in infrastructure because rebuilding our roads, rails, bridges, expanding broadband to every community, building new classrooms and labs and more affordable housing gives private initiative and personal ambition the platform for growth.
…..Our citizens do not want less transportation. They want more. They do not want us to spend more on the same old thing or just move money around from one idea to the next. They want us to invest in a disciplined and strategic way in the things that improve the quality of their lives and grow their opportunities.”
Link to Address: http://bostonherald.com/print/1062233916
- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) - January 16, 2013
As part of a multi-pronged plan to continue to rejuvenate Michigan’s economy, create jobs and enhance quality of life, Governor Snyder has proposed a plan to make strategic investments in the state’s transportation network:
"Investing money in our roads and bridges today saves money in the long run," Snyder said. "It also builds the foundation for our 21st century economy. We know what needs to be done. Let's fix our roads."
Link to video of Address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzS238MQaF4&feature=youtu.be
- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) - February 6, 2013
Governor Dayton understands that reliable infrastructure is the backbone of his state’s economy:
“And I have not even mentioned tonight … nor does my budget address … the critical need to invest in improving our highways, roads, and bridges statewide; our public transit systems; our ageing infrastructure; and the list goes on.”
Link to Address: http://mn.gov/governor/newsroom/pressreleasedetail.jsp?id=102-54689
- Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) - January 30, 2013
Governor Bullock knows that by taking advantage of record low interest rates, more infrastructure projects can be built and more jobs will be created:
“That’s why Rep. Galen Hollenbaugh and I – along with the Montana Chamber of Commerce, the Montana Contractors Association and others – have joined together to propose record investments in our educational facilities.
It’s called the J.O.B.S. Bill, which stands for Jobs and Opportunity by Building Schools. We can take advantage of historically low interest rates and immediately create thousands of jobs across the state – and do it without raising taxes.
Stand with me and the over 2,500 construction workers we want to put to work building world class schools for our world class workforce.”
- New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) - February 14, 2013
Governor Hassan understands that under-maintained infrastructure can have real impacts on the citizens and commerce:
“And to truly seize the promise that innovation presents, we must come together and take on one of our most difficult long-standing challenges: New Hampshire's deteriorating roads and bridges.
The American Society of Civil Engineers gives our roads a C minus, and the I-93 expansion project remains unfinished.
Hundreds of our bridges are on the "red list" of bridges in critical need of repair - risking public safety and our economy.
Just three weeks ago, we all saw the price of years of neglect and under-funding of the highway fund when the Department of Transportation was forced to abruptly close the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge. This comes on the heels of the immediate closure of the Memorial Bridge in 2011.
With the Memorial Bridge already out of service, we were left with only one way to cross the Piscataqua River into and out of Maine, snarling traffic and impeding the flow of goods that is so critical to our economy. In addition, without being able to lift the Long Bridge, oil tankers were stuck in place.
If it weren't for the quick work of our dedicated public employees at the Department of Transportation, work that was extremely dangerous hundreds of feet above open water in bitter cold and high winds, we might have seen a significant spike in energy prices as our oil supply sat idle on the water.
Maintaining and repairing our state's roads and bridges and funding transportation projects are crucial for our economy. Creating a solid, modern infrastructure will attract new businesses and industries, while helping our existing businesses grow, transport their goods, and create new jobs.
But as it stands, we barely have enough to do the very minimum: patching roads and bridges together, plowing our highways, and keeping state troopers on the road. Our transportation trust fund faces a $740 million shortfall over the next ten years. There are no more one-time fixes.
We must develop strategies for a long-term solution, for both operations and road construction, and we must do it together, working towards a consensus solution. There have already been proposals offered in both chambers, and I thank Senator Morse and Representative Campbell for the work they have done.
I stand ready to work with any member of either party who is willing to bring constructive, long-term ideas to the table so we can build a consensus solution that will help us begin to improve our roads and bridges and finish I-93.”
Link to Address: http://www.governor.nh.gov/media/speeches/budget-address-2013.htm
- New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R) - January 15, 2013
Governor Martinez understands that smart infrastructure investments are key to long term economic development:
“I’m also asking the Legislature to pass job-creating infrastructure projects, projects like the Paseo del Norte expansion we passed last session, or for water systems, roads, and dam repair. These types of projects create immediate jobs to kick-start our economy, while also building the infrastructure necessary for long-term economic development. And when we invest in local projects, let’s make sure they’re vetted, prioritized, and fully-funded.”
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) - Jan. 9, 2013
Link to press release: http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/01092013-cuomo-agenda-2013
- North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) - Jan. 8, 2013
Governor Dalrymple knows that wise investments in his state’s transportation infrastructure are good economics and will keep his state’s economy thriving:
“Another challenge created by rapid growth is the maintenance and improvement of our roads and highways. These one-time infrastructure investments are the best use of our reserve funds because they will pay back to all of us for decades to come. Being able to move our products, people and services from place to place is at the very core of a thriving economy. But it's not just about industry and commercial development. Providing a safe and convenient road system to every corner of the state is a basic necessity for people living in a rural state.
To put our commitment in perspective, we increased the Department of Transportation budget by more than $500 million in the current biennium for critical road and highway improvements. For the 2013-2015 biennium we need another increase of more than $1 billion for state highways, county road systems, township roads, bridges, interchanges, and other North Dakota, infrastructure improvements across the state. This funding increase would bring the Department of Transportation's total budget to $2.7 billion. The level of activity in our state demands that we keep up with these long-term investments.”
Link to address: http://governor.nd.gov/events/2013-state-state-address
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) - February 20, 2013
Governor Kasich knows that having quality infrastructure is essential to attracting businesses and manufacturers to his state:
“I'd like to talk about another job creation program, our plan to improve the infrastructure, our roads, our highway, our bridges. We're within 600 miles of 60 percent of the country. It is an incredible economic advantage when I talk to CEOs, I said you want access to the North American market, you want to be in Ohio. We’ve got the size, the skill, the people, but we got the location. We can move things so quickly through our state because we're improving our infrastructure.
You know, the fact is when you make things here you got to be able to move them. But here's the problem. We have significant infrastructure needs. Under the current system, we fall way short of funding those needs. So we figured out a creative way to leverage one of our great assets, the Turnpike. By bonding against the tolls of the Ohio Turnpike, we're going to be able to raise one and a half billion, and when combines with other federal, state, and local funds, we will have $3 billion, $3 billion to fix our roads, our highways, and our bridges.”
- Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) - February 4, 2013
Infrastructure investment also means ensuring that existing assets are being properly maintained and repaired:
“Together we have also improved our transportation infrastructure by supporting the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s eight-year plan as well as the initiative to repair all of our structurally deficient highway bridges. Because of that support, we are quickly seeing impressive results: structurally deficient highway bridges have been reduced by 20 percent since January of 2011.”
- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) - February 5, 2013
- Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) - January 16, 2013
Governor Chafee knows that modern and reliable infrastructure is a key component of economic growth and prosperity:
“Many studies show that you can’t build a good economy without good infrastructure. Rhode Island is the second‐most densely populated state and one of the most heavily traveled, all in a coastal salt air environment – and our infrastructure takes a beating.
Maintenance of our roads and bridges is critical. Make no mistake: strengthening our infrastructure is an integral part of improving our economic competitiveness.
….Being more proactive about routine repairs and maintenance will also help us avoid costly replacement projects in the future. Unfortunately, we have seen a number of these in recent years, including the Sakonnet River Bridge. They have cost the taxpayers significantly and have forced hard decisions to be made. I do not want to have to rebuild another bridge because of lack of proper maintenance. This is not going to happen as long as I am Governor. We must invest in our infrastructure. “
Link to Address: http://www.governor.ri.gov/ri2013/
- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) - Jan. 16, 2013
Governor Haley understands that a strong and reliable infrastructure is essential to further economic development:
“Our roads, our bridges – they simply aren’t up to standard. More than 1,000 of South Carolina’s bridges are either load-restricted or structurally deficient.
First and foremost, it’s a public safety issue. The citizens of South Carolina deserve to drive on roads that aren’t littered with potholes and on bridges they know won’t fall down.
It’s a core function of government. But it’s also an economic development issue.
South Carolina has announced our self as the new superstar of American manufacturing. We build things. We build planes.
We build cars. We build tires. We build more ATVs than anywhere else in the world.
We need roads and bridges that match the quality of the companies that manufacture in our great state. And we will get them.
Link to Address: http://www.governor.sc.gov/News/Pages/RecentNews.aspx
- Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) - Jan. 28, 2013
Providing services such as transportation infrastructure is a critical function of government. Governor Haslam noted:
“As I said earlier, our role in state government is to provide services that Tennesseans aren’t able to get on their own – we build roads, offer higher education options, guard prisoners, help families adopt children, care for the mentally ill, patrol highways, serve veterans, and perform hundreds of other services.
My job as governor is to make sure we are providing those services in a customer-focused and effective way.”
- Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) - Jan. 29, 2013
Governor Perry knows that how important reliable and efficient infrastructure is to his state’s economic competitiveness and quality of life:
“Our surging arts communities are yet another reason so many people and employers are choosing to come to Texas. As our population expands and industries grow across our state, the demand is increasing upon the fundamental building blocks of our communities.
This session, we need to deal with our state's infrastructure needs. We must particularly address our growing needs in water and transportation.
Doing that without breaking the budget will require creativity and some "outside-the-box" thinking. I believe one answer lies within our Rainy Day Fund.
The Rainy Day Fund was created to ensure we had a sufficient amount in reserve in case of disaster, and to ensure Texas maintains its strong credit rating.
Due to our economic success, the fund will soon hold nearly $12 billion, significantly more than the amount we need to meet those obligations. We need to maintain a strong Rainy Day Fund.
While we cannot - and will not - raid the fund to meet ongoing expenses, we also shouldn't accumulate billions more than necessary.
That's why I support a move to utilize $3.7 billion from the Rainy Day Fund for a one-time investment in infrastructure programs.
In addition to the Rainy Day Fund investment, we should also end the diversion of State Highway Fund appropriations, which will mean another $1.3 billion every biennium for road maintenance and construction.
What I am proposing will support critical water and transportation systems across our state, addresses our needs both short- and long-term, and ensures both water and traffic will continue to flow in Texas for generations to come. None of us can deny the need for these improvements.
Water and roads add to the quality of life for all Texans - anyone stuck in traffic at rush hour in our cities can speak to that. It also plays a major role in our continued economic development.
Whenever we're recruiting a business seeking to relocate or expand, a chief concern of theirs is ensuring there are adequate water, power and transportation systems for their needs.
We've been the nation's top exporting state for 10 years now, and for us to continue that dominance requires a clear way to move goods from one place to another.”
Link to Address: http://governor.state.tx.us/news/speech/18095/
- Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) - January 30, 2013
Governor Herbert knows that greater oversight and accountability means that important projects can be built faster and come in under budget:
“Lasting job creation and capital investment hinge on the free flow of commerce, another area where Utah excels. There is no better example than the I-15 CORE project, built faster than any other billion- dollar highway project in America, and $260 million under budget. UTA’s commuter rail now runs from Ogden to Provo, two years ahead of schedule and 15% under budget. We are building the infrastructure that will enable Utah’s future economic success.”
- Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) - January 10, 2013
“We are delivering on our promise to grow prosperity by connecting every last mile of Vermont to high-speed Internet access by the end of this year.”
“…….Let’s face facts for a minute: these opportunities for prosperity, from our southern border to Canada, result from the way technology has transformed Vermont’s economy and our lives.
Think about how technology has changed our daily lives: paying our bills, shopping, communicating online, texting and tweeting our way through the day, managing our finances, keeping tabs on our kids.
Technology allows computers to create products that a decade ago, even five years ago, didn’t exist. It has created a connection to a larger world that allows many more people to do business from Vermont that would not have been possible in the pre-tech world.”
Note: The Governor’s inaugural address also serves as his State of the State address for 2013.
- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) - Jan. 8, 2013
- West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) - February 13, 2013
The states have always been laboratories of innovation and Governor Tomblin is looking to carry on that tradition by looking to partner with the private sector to help meet some of West Virginia’s infrastructure financing challenges:
“We also need to find innovative and creative ways to enhance our infrastructure. And while we have a Blue Ribbon Commission examining our road system, one thing I know we must do now is explore and foster public private partnerships to develop our roads.
In 2008, the Public-Private Partnership Act was passed and signed into law. The Act allowed the West Virginia Division of Highways to partner with a private company on the design and construction of otherwise public transportation facilities. This current structure, however, has limited usefulness.
Tonight, I’m proposing legislation to make the Act permanent and streamline the approval requirements to allow the Commissioner of Highways the flexibility to enter into these public-private partnerships. This will allow us to take greater advantage of this innovative tool for the construction of infrastructure.”
- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) - Jan. 15, 2013
- Wyoming Governor Matthew Mead (R) - Jan. 8, 2013
Mesa, Arizona Mayor John Giles explains why infrastructure investment is important in his community.
- Press Release Former Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell Calls for Port, Waterway Strategy in Speech to American Association of Port Authorities Read More
- Press Release BAF Educational Fund Releases Infrastructure Report: Falling Apart and Falling Behind Read More
- Published Report An Economic Analysis of Infrastructure Investment Read More
The quality of U.S. rail infrastructure ranks 15th in the world behind such countries as Korea and Luxembourg.