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2016 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 2015.

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

As of February 8, 2016:

  • Alabama Gov. Robert J. Bentley (R) - February 2, 2016:

    “Essential to economic growth, job creation and the overall quality of life in Alabama is access to technology for all our citizens.  Today over 1-million Alabamians do not have access to even the slowest and most basic high-speed wireless technology.  Technology is growing at lightning speed, changing the way we educate, deliver healthcare, and even start a business, yet our communities and rural areas cannot tap into the potential that Broadband access would bring.  We are embarking on an ambitious plan to provide rural and under-served communities access to broadband – high speed, high capacity – technology.  Working with private sector providers, we will first begin by cutting the bureaucracy that stands in the way of providing broadband access.  We will first work to provide the infrastructure needed to provide broadband.  Private providers will then be able to provide access and offer it at a more affordable and manageable cost to our communities.  Promoting a robust broadband network will lead to a stronger education system, increased capabilities for healthcare, a more efficient connected law enforcement and enhanced economic development opportunities.”

    Link to address:

  • Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) - January 21, 2016:

    “New shipping routes along Alaska’s arctic coast can create opportunities for the state that can be likened to the impacts of opening the Panama Canal.  We will need new and expanded ports, roads and rail extension to meet this opportunity.”

    Link to address:

  • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) - January 11, 2016:

    “If there is one thing Arizona is best in the nation at – it’s water.  We sit in the Capitol city in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation in the middle of the desert.  Thanks to revolutionary planning efforts like our 1980 Groundwater Management Act, and leaders from Carl Hayden to Mo Udall to Jon Kyl, Arizona has grown and thrived.  We’re building on that, and we have a plan in motion.  Right now, a team of our top water experts, users and providers are charting the path forward.  I’ve directed them to:  Investigate new, long-term sources for water in our state.  Explore additional conservation opportunities.  And identify future infrastructure needs.”

    Link to address:

  • California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) - January 21, 2016:

    “Another long term obligation we have to face is our deteriorating infrastructure.  From state office buildings here in Sacramento, to levees and facilities in our parks, universities, prisons and state hospitals – serious deficiencies abound.  In this year’s budget, I am proposing that we use $2 billion of our temporary surplus on one-time investments to repair and replace aging structures.  Neglecting what we have built over many years and letting it further deteriorate makes no sense and will just pile up costs in the long run.  But that is not all.  Our overall state deferred maintenance is staggering, estimated to total $77 billion.  Most of that is in our roads, highways and bridges.  Here is our challenge:  We have no choice but to maintain our transportation infrastructure.  Yet, doing so without an expanded and permanent revenue source is impossible.  That means at some point, sooner rather than later, we have to bite the bullet and enact new fees and taxes for this purpose.  Ideology and politics stand in the way, but one way or another, the roads must be fixed.”

    Link to address:

  • Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) - January 14, 2016:

    “As we look to the future, we have to look at some hard realities.  Travel on our highways has increased 42% in the last 20 years.  But the capacity of our highway system has only grown 2%.  Even an English major like me can do that math.  It seems we’ve discovered the formula for congestion.   Nearly all of CDOT’s budget is dedicated to maintaining our current system, which puts critical upgrades out of reach.  Add to the equation 2 million more residents projected to join us over the next 20 years, and we’ve got a math problem.  Our population grew by over 100,000 last year alone, so we need to invest now to ease congestion and mobility for today and tomorrow.  We have transportation issues up and down I-25, along I-70 and other high-volume traffic corridors throughout the state.  If we’re going to get these projects done, we must find new funding sources and leverage partnerships to pay for them.  Some have suggested a version of TRANS bonds as an option, but without new revenue, that’s like trying to drive your new truck across the state with a dollar’s worth of new gas.  This is a challenge that will only get more daunting as each day passes.  Let’s find a way to permanently put new money toward roads so we can truly solve Colorado’s transportation problems.” 

    Link to address:

  • Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) - January 21, 2016:

    “And thanks to bipartisan compromise spearheaded by Speaker Schwartzkopf and President Blevins last year, along with Senators Simpson and Lavelle, we’re putting our construction workers back on the job by investing an additional $400 million in our roads and bridges over the next six years.”

    Link to address:

  • Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) - January 13, 2016:

    “Yesterday, many of you attended a roll out of the most comprehensive plans for sustainable infrastructure improvement in the history of our state.  That would not have been possible without the support of those who voted for H.B 170.  Over the next 18 months, approximately 60 percent of the user fees from H.B. 170 will be used to repair and maintain our existing infrastructure.  The remaining 40 percent will be used for new infrastructure investments.  Last year, I told you that with the revenue that was available at that time, a road that was paved when you graduated from high school would not be paved again until you were eligible for Social Security.  With the new user fees generated, we have brought that frequency down to every 12 to 15 years, with regular maintenance in between.  In other words, if your road is paved the same year you graduate from high school, it will be paved at least three times before you are eligible for Social Security and will further benefit from maintenance in the interim.”

    Link to address:

  • Hawaii Gov. Daniel Y. Ige (D) - January 25, 2016:

    “For those who haven’t noticed, innovation, fueled by technology, is driving the global economy at breakneck speed.  We simply must create an economic environment that enables Hawaii’s entrepreneurs to turn ideas into products and services so that we can compete in today’s global economy.  And we know that deploying a strong broadband is critical to that kind of environment.  More importantly, innovation is not just a technological phenomenon.  It crosses all industries including agriculture, fashion, “media and design”, clean energy and healthcare.  And it creates good paying jobs that keep our best and brightest here where we need them.  For that reason, I am proposing that we set aside $30 million over the next six years from our corporate tax revenues to support innovation enterprises.  We also need to support accelerator and venture fund activities to give talented entrepreneurs the means to create new products and services.  In addition, our investments will also help to attract private money."

    Link to address:

  • Idaho Gov. CJ "Butch" Otter (R) - January 11, 2016:

    “Preserving and protecting Idaho’s water is crucial to our continued economic growth and increased prosperity.  Our renewable and “green” hydroelectric resources alone make Idaho the envy of other states in the West and a magnet for businesses that put a premium on environmental sustainability.”

    Link to address:

  • Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) - January 27, 2016:

    “One of the biggest impediments holding back our efforts to lower taxpayer costs, and improve services, is our antiquated information technology system.  We are a model of inefficiency and ineffectiveness.  Right now, Illinois ranks among the three highest spending states on IT, but we are one of the worst states for digital services delivered to the public.  Too many of our agencies’ systems can’t communicate with each other, they are vulnerable to cyberattacks, and are extremely expensive to maintain.  Illinois state government needs a digital revolution, and this week I created a secretary-level position to see this mission through.  The Department of Innovation and Technology will allow us to consolidate, modernize and streamline our IT systems, to better serve taxpayers and businesses, while fostering innovation among employees.”

    Link to address:

  • Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R)  - January 12, 2016:

    “While the condition of our roads and bridges rank above the national average, I propose we make $1 billion available to improve state roads and bridges in the next four years and follow the lead of Senators Long and Hershman to provide another $400 million for local roads.  There are lots of ways to pay for infrastructure, and I expect we will have a healthy debate."

    “But infrastructure is more than roads.  Indiana’s ports have also been spectacular catalysts for job growth.  That is why I have called upon the Ports of Indiana to vigorously explore the building of a fourth port in the far southeastern part of the state, which could unleash enormous economic investment throughout the southeast region of our state.”

    Link to address:

  • Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad (R) - January 12, 2016:

    “Today our schools rely on the Secure Advanced Vision for Education or SAVE fund for school infrastructure.   The current law expires in 2029. Since its inception is 2009, schools have already received $3.2 billion in infrastructure spending.  Our proposal will increase annual funding from $458 million this year, to $788 million by 2049 – providing a total of $20.7 billion for school infrastructure.  At the same time, by sharing the portion of growth over $10 million annually, this plan will provide nearly $4.7 billion for water quality over the same time period.  Schools will receive guaranteed growth of $10 million each year or $100 million in additional funding for school infrastructure every decade on top of what they are already getting."

    Link to address:

  • Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) - January 12, 2016:

    “The work we have accomplished to preserve and extend water resources in Kansas in the last three years has been significant.  The first Local Enhanced Management Area has been in operation for three years in 99 square miles of Northwest Kansas.  They have reduced their water use by roughly 20 percent, and maintained their net income.  That should extend the useful life of the Ogallala in that area by 25 years.  We are, right now, dredging John Redmond Reservoir, the first federal reservoir to be dredged in the nation.  Whether it’s dredging projects or reducing our demands on the Ogallala, it’s going to take time and some sacrifice.  We are going to continue implementing action items in the Long Term Vision for Kansas Water."

    Link to address:

  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) - February 3, 2016:

    “As we partner this year to improve the lives of all Marylanders, transportation must also be a top priority.  We are investing an unprecedented $2 billion into “shovel ready” infrastructure projects to fix every single structurally deficient bridge in the state, and to move us forward on the top-priority road projects in every single jurisdiction in the state.  We are moving forward with a more cost-effective version of the Purple Line, as well as transformation of the transit system in Baltimore – long-term investments that will be important economic drivers for Maryland.  Moving forward, it should also be a priority to get funding for local roads back to their previous levels.  This year, we have allocated an additional $231 million in Highway User Revenues to local governments.  Our transportation infrastructure can and should be stronger.  Working together, let’s make this goal a reality.”

    Link to address:

  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) - January 21, 2016:

    “Today, for the first time ever, we are having a transparent and reality based discussion about how to improve the performance of this vital transportation system.   Turning around a system with the troubles and problems the T has won’t be easy or quick, and there will be some missteps along the way, but we are determined to do it.  A million people ride the system every day – to get to work, school, the grocery store and then back home.  They need the T to work – and work well.  That’s why we are working to double the capital investment in the system’s core infrastructure to $1 billion every year.  And it’s why $90 million was invested on strategies and equipment that will allow the T to battle the curve balls thrown by Mother Nature.  And to the taxpayers who may never ride the T but who write a $1 billion check to the system every year.  I say you deserve to know that your support is delivering a reliable, affordable, transparent and efficient service.”

    Link to address:

  • Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) - January 19, 2016:

    “Our state faces very real challenges at this point.  We have deteriorating infrastructure – infrastructure we don’t see every day like we do with roads.   Many cities have aging water systems and pipes that need to be upgraded.  Flint has been the catalyst for this, but it isn’t just Flint and it isn’t just Michigan.  This is a national problem, and we are going to have Michigan solutions.”

    Link to address:,4668,7-277--373938--,00.html

  • Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) - January 26, 2016:

    “So now we have a decision to make.  How do we generate sufficient revenue to maintain and keep safe the roads and bridges that are our economic life line and not place an undue burden upon the working people of this state?  Both Joe and I have offered a recommendation.  There is no reason we cannot balance an increase in fuel tax with an equal and sufficient tax reduction. This tax cut does not need to apply to large corporations.  They are and have been receiving the reduction in fuel cost for some time now.”

    Link to address:

  • Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) - January 20, 2016:

    “We can’t sell Missouri goods if we can’t get them to market.  That’s why my budget invests an additional $5 million to improve and expand our ports – so we can ship more Missouri goods around the world and create more jobs here at home.  We’ve also got too many bad roads and rickety bridges.  We all know it, and it’s time to act.  Roads aren’t free.  Last time I checked, nobody was giving away concrete and asphalt.  I’ve been clear in my position:  if you use the roads, you should help pay for them.  What I don’t support is taking money that should go to schools, law enforcement and mental health, and using it to patch potholes.  With gas prices the lowest they have been in more than a decade, now is the time to get this done.”

    Link to address:

  • Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) - January 14, 2016:

    “Our three largest industries are agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism and they all require a strong transportation infrastructure to expand.  We can spur our economic growth by ensuring we have 21st century roads and bridges to grow our industries.  Once again, we’ve been working with you to address this critical need.  Over the last several months, Chairman Smith and Department of Roads Director Kyle Schneweis have traveled the state, working on ideas on how we can accelerate infrastructure investment.  Last week, we announced a proposal for a transportation infrastructure bank to speed up expressway construction, improve county bridges, and assist companies with economic development.  Also included are new tools to increase the efficiency of our construction process.  Our businesses transport our goods and services.  Our farmers and ranchers deliver the food to feed our world on our roads and bridges.  We get to work each day on our highways.  We drive our children to school over our county bridges.  Let’s help local leaders keep and attract businesses.  Let’s pass the transportation infrastructure bank.”

    Link to address:

  • New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) - February 4, 2016:

    “I have put forward a ten-year plan that advances critical transportation goals while maintaining fiscal responsibility and living within our projected revenues.  It is a plan to preserve and fix our bridges.  A plan to preserve good roads now in order to avoid more expensive projects later.  A plan that begins the first phase of widening the portion of Route 106 critical for access to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and a plan that completes the expansion of Interstate 93.  It advances and accelerates the Exit 4A project in Londonderry and Derry, which represents one of the most promising economic development opportunities in the state.  And it leverages federal funds for the environmental and engineering work necessary to move forward with commuter rail from Boston to Nashua and Manchester.  Each of these critical transportation projects will help set the foundation for long-term economic growth, and we must pass a Ten-Year Plan that supports these important priorities.”

    Link to address:

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) - January 13, 2016:

    “The tallest buildings, the longest bridges, the deepest tunnels – they never said quit.  Now it’s our turn, my friends.  We must provide the vision and the daring for the next generation.  To continue to grow in size and strength, we must develop a new interconnected, planned system of mass transportation, roads and bridges and airports for the next 100 years.  We can and we will.  I propose the New York: Built to Learn program.  It is a development initiative that would make Governor Rockefeller jealous.  A $100 billion investment in transformative projects statewide.  All experts are unanimous that investment today in the infrastructure of tomorrow creates jobs and builds economic strength.  In Washington, both sides agree.  However, like so many issues, Washington just can’t get it done.  In New York, we can and we will.”

    Link to address:

  • Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo (D) - February 2, 2016:

    “And, while we’re at it, let’s reject the politics of procrastination and pass RhodeWorks.  Rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges is essential to attracting great companies, and we’ll put thousands of Rhode Islanders to work in the process.”

    Link to address:

  • South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) - January 20, 2016:

    “We have worked for our successes.  We have been smart; we have paid attention to the changing world around us and to the growing competition for good jobs that pay good wages.  We have kept our fiscal house in order and protected our credit rating.  We have invested in our ports, in our workforce, and in our children’s futures.”

    “Pass legislation that cuts our taxes, reforms our flawed transportation system, and invests in our roads, and I will sign it.”

    Link to address:

  • South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) - January 12, 2016:

    “I’d like to speak for a moment about SD’s railroads.  Rail may not be as visible as our state parks, but I am very excited by the progress our state has made in developing rail infrastructure.  Because South Dakotans consume only a modest share of the grain we produce, our state relies almost entirely on railroads to deliver our grain to out-of-state markets.  In October, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the RCP&E Railroad a $6 million TIGER grant to upgrade its line near Huron and to install a long siding near Philip.  A siding project might seem insignificant until you know the situation.  Today, between Ft. Pierre and Rapid City, that 165-mile stretch leaving Ft. Pierre forces a train in Rapid City to wait for the Ft. Pierre train to reach Rapid City before the other may start eastward.  Construction of the new siding will allow up to 100 more trains per year to run over this section.  This good news follows the state’s launch, just over a year ago, of four other rail projects in SD.  Two of these projects involved sidings in Huron and Aurora and reconstruction of a portion of the Sioux Valley line in southeastern SD.”

    Link to address:

  • Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) - February, 1 2016:

    “A first step is toward repaying old debts.  Two hundred and sixty two million dollars were borrowed from the Highway Fund for the General Fund a decade ago and never repaid.  Tonight I’m proposing that we repay half of that, $130 million, as another step toward a solution.  No one here, however, should fool themselves into thinking that this comes close to solving our transportation funding issue.  Or that even repaying the entire $262 million comes close…………Our current payment structure will not allow us to ensure the future safety of our roads and bridges or, importantly, our ability to recruit the jobs we want in Tennessee.  It’s about the farmer getting his product to market or a business accessing the world-class logistics capability in Memphis.  It’s about finally addressing decades old back-logged projects in East Tennessee.  Or maybe it’s about the sobering reality of day care centers in Murfreesboro who serve not just lunch but dinner because their parents who work in Nashville have to fight traffic that delays them in picking up their children.  We have to be about finding long-term solutions to our biggest challenges.  This is what we do.”

    Link to address:

  • Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert (R) - January 27, 2016:

    “Soon there will be a new industrial development in Iron County, roads and power to a potash mine in Beaver County, and other critical infrastructure projects that will enable businesses to expand in rural Utah like never before.  While developing this kind of basic infrastructure is the proper role of government, make no mistake, ultimately it is our small businesses and large businesses and the tens of thousands of hardworking, productive Utah workers who create Utah’s economic success, and not the government.”

    Link to address:

  • Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) - January 13, 2016:

    “We have also made great progress in unlocking Northern Virginia from the congestion that keeps this dynamic region from reaching its full potential.  We are adding new lanes to Interstate 66, which will allow 70,000 more people to move through the corridor each day.  We are finally putting an end to the wheel-spinning that has kept this much-needed project from moving forward.  I know there has been a lot of misleading information about this issue, but the facts are clear.  After years of inaction, commuters will now have new options that will ease congestion without imposing new tolls on drivers for getting to work the same way that they always have.  And it is just one of the steps we have taken to unlock the Northern Virginia region.  We are making life better for commuters by extending the 395 HOT lanes to the district line, extending the southbound lanes two miles to clear backups in Stafford County and continuing to support the Silver Line to Dulles and other locations in Loudon.  Together these projects will strengthen the economy of this key region and our entire Commonwealth.”

    Link to address:

  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) - January 12, 2016:

    “One year ago, I stood here and said it was time to reinvest in ourselves, in our future and in our children’s future.  To do these things, we’d have to work in a bipartisan way.  Let’s be honest – that was not always easy.  But I’m happy to say that we did just that.  We accomplished some big things last year in a bipartisan fashion, like transportation.  Back in the fall of 2014, there were those who thought we out to just fix a few potholes and call it good.  But I didn’t give up.  And I continued working together with the House and Senate, with Republicans and Democrats, with business and labor.  And together, we passed a $16 billion package, the largest – and the greenest – transportation package in Washington state history.  We also authorized another $15 billion for Sound Transit light rail expansion.  Not only will this help congestion, this package supports 200,000 family-wage jobs across our state.”

    Link to address:

  • West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) - January 13, 2016:

    “As the ninth largest producer of natural gas in the country, we must work with those operating here to create the processing and pipeline infrastructure necessary to ensure this industry’s continued growth.  The ongoing development of the Marcellus and Utica shale – and the Rogersville formation just being explored – is already bringing new revenues and new jobs for West Virginians.  That’s one reason I sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in support of the Columbia Gas Mountaineer Express pipeline project.  This $2 billion investment will transport a significant amount of natural gas to new markets.  Much like similar pipeline projects by EQT, Dominion and Momentum Mid-Stream, this investment has the potential to create thousands of good paying construction jobs, while generating significant tax revenues for counties to fund local schools, roads and other worthy endeavors.”

    Link to address:

  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) - January 19, 2016:

    “You see, we now compete in a global economy.  Education will drive success, as will technology.  That is why I am glad that we tripled the amount of funding in our budget dedicated this year for broadband access across the state.  People can do business anywhere in the world, but they need access to high speed internet connections.  Our program partners with local investments to install a fiber network.  Once completed, a private company provides the service.  Without our assistance, rural areas would be deprived of quality internet access because private companies could not justify the rate of return on investment.  Our program helps small businesses, family farmers, tourism attractions, and public schools across the state.”

    Link to address: