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TRUST coalition unveils legislative goals (PRESS RELEASE)

TRUST coalition unveils legislative goals (PRESS RELEASE)

 TRUST COALITION UNVEILS LEGISLATIVE GOALS
Protecting eight-year plan, bridge/turnpike plan & renovation of weigh stations are TRUST priorities

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, February 13, 2012 – Transportation Revenues Used Strictly For Transportation (TRUST), an advocacy group dedicated to funding and restoring Oklahoma’s infrastructure, announced its 2012 legislative agenda today with protection of the state’s eight-year road and bridge construction work plan, support of the bridge improvement and turnpike modernization plan and renovation of Oklahoma’s weigh stations as top priorities.

With an FY-2013 budget shortfall estimated to be approximately $100 million, TRUST leaders emphasized the importance of protecting funding for road and bridge construction, particularly the eight-year construction work plan currently underway by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), and support of the bridge and turnpike modernization plan announced in 2011 and set to be considered by lawmakers this session.

“Investing in transportation infrastructure should always be a priority of state government and tremendous strides have been made over the past six years in this regard,” said TRUST president Neal McCaleb, former state transportation secretary and former director of ODOT and the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. “Even though Oklahoma’s economic outlook is brightening, it is still very important that legislators continue to recognize the economic importance of a vibrant transportation infrastructure.”

TRUST co-chairman and former Governor Frank Keating said, “Oklahoma has made wonderful progress with regards to transportation funding since 2006 and projects are underway all across the state, however continued investment in transportation is as important as ever in 2012 if Oklahoma is to take the next step economically. I am confident the Legislature will continue to recognize the public safety and economic development benefits a modern transportation infrastructure provides.”

“A TRUST priority and a transportation area long ignored is renovation of Oklahoma’s port-of- entries, or weigh stations,” said Kell Kelly, TRUST co-chairman and chief executive officer of Spirit Bank. “In order to shield our highways, roads and bridges from overweight freight traveling through the state, we must complete installation of a modern, port-of-entry system that will protect our infrastructure system from damaging, overweight freight traffic. Currently, Oklahoma is one of the least regulated states in the country when it comes to allowing overweight freight on our state highway system. When complete, Oklahoma will have changed its port-of-entry system to one that returns major economic dividends for the state while protecting our highways, roads and bridges.”

The TRUST agenda also includes raising the ROADS Fund spending cap, redirecting all motor vehicle generated fees and license tag renewal late fees to transportation, a timely, long-term reauthorization of federal surface transportation programs 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 top priority. Since 2005 TRUST has grown into a diverse coalition of more than 120 statewide organizations representing banking, energy, agri-business, construction, chambers of commerce, public safety, transportation and concerned citizens. To learn more visit www.restoreTRUST.org

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

 

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