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TRUST ANNOUNCES 2018 LEGISLATIVE GOALS (PRESS RELEASE)

TRUST ANNOUNCES 2018 LEGISLATIVE GOALS (PRESS RELEASE)

Eight-year highway and bridge construction plan top priority

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
, February 6, 2018 – Transportation Revenues Used Strictly For Transportation (TRUST), an advocacy group dedicated to funding and restoring Oklahoma’s transportation infrastructure, announced its 2018 legislative agenda today with protection and full funding of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) eight-year highway and bridge construction plan once again its top priority. TRUST leaders are also advocating for a six-cents per gallon gasoline and diesel excise tax increase with 100% of revenues “lock boxed” to continue rehabilitating the state and county transportation systems.    

“Over the last eleven years, the Oklahoma Legislature has consistently invested in Oklahoma’s transportation infrastructure which has allowed sizable modernization of bridges and highways across the state, and the driving public is enjoying the benefits,” said TRUST president Neal McCaleb, former state transportation secretary, ODOT and Oklahoma Turnpike Authority director.  TRUST has been an active voice at the state Capitol since 2006, and our members have worked closely with the legislative and executive branches to make genuine progress in improving our transportation infrastructure systems. The Legislature and Governor Fallin deserve praise for their vision and support, however it is imperative transportation remain a core funding priority, and the sweeping of transportation-generated funds cease this session.”

TRUST co-chairman and former Governor Frank Keating commented, “Having a modern and safe transportation system grows an economy while providing an infrastructure network to move product to market. Despite recent budget challenges, transportation investment should always be among the very top priorities of the legislative and executive branches. Oklahoma’s economy depen                      ds on it.”

“Transportation investment is a multi-year undertaking, and continued budget deficits have created a challenging funding and political environment at the state Capitol,” said Kell Kelly, TRUST co-chairman. “TRUST members will continue to advocate this session to the Legislature that all transportation-generated revenues, such as motor fuel taxes and motor vehicle fees, must be allocated strictly for transportation purposes.  From addressing state and county highway and bridge needs to construction of new ports of entries to development of our turnpike system, Oklahoma is moving in the right direction, however we cannot allow transportation to take a back seat.  Oklahoma’s largest asset is its transportation infrastructure system, and it simply must be protected and advanced. Economic development competition is ever present with private investment locating where a proactive vision is present, and where a transportation system allows growth and profit. Oklahoma’s location allows easy access to either coast, however businesses will shy away if our transportation network does not keep pace with Texas and other progressive states.  The state must continue to invest in a true 21st century transportation network for Oklahoma.”

The TRUST agenda also includes completion of the statutory allocation to the ROADS fund, restoring diverted funds from the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges (CIRB) fund, support of bond financing to complete critical projects, restoring all motor fuel taxes and motor vehicle fees to transportation programs, completion of Oklahoma’s new ports-of-entry (weigh stations), formulating an innovative, equitable and alternative transportation funding plan, long-term funding of the federal Highway Trust Fund and support of the Indian Reservation Roads Program.
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TRUST is an advocacy group dedicated to restoring Oklahoma’s transportation infrastructure.  We are committed to creating a culture within Oklahoma government that values and adequately funds transportation as a core priority. Since 2005 TRUST has grown into a diverse coalition of statewide organizations representing banking, energy, agri-business, construction, chambers of commerce, public safety, transportation and concerned citizens. To learn more please visit restoreTRUST.org.

Contact: John Cox, TRUST communications director, 405.255.8117, jdcox@cox.net

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