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TRUST unveils 2014 Legislative Goals (PRESS RELEASE)

TRUST unveils 2014 Legislative Goals (PRESS RELEASE)

Eight-year construction, bridge/turnpike plans, motor vehicle fee allocation remain priorities

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
, February 5, 2014 – Transportation Revenues Used Strictly For Transportation (TRUST), an advocacy group dedicated to funding and restoring Oklahoma’s infrastructure, announced its 2014 legislative agenda today with protection of the state’s eight-year highway and bridge construction plan, the bridge and turnpike modernization plan and restoring motor vehicle fees to transportation programs among its priorities.

While the final version of the FY-2015 budget will not be known until late in the legislative session, TRUST leaders emphasized the importance of continuing to advance transportation funding as a key priority of state government, particularly funding for the eight-year highway and bridge construction plan currently underway by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT).

“Since 2006, the legislature has reversed course with regards to recognizing the importance of Oklahoma having a modern, safe transportation infrastructure system,” said TRUST president Neal McCaleb, former state transportation secretary and director of ODOT and the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. “Transportation infrastructure funding, including allocating road user fees such as motor vehicle taxes, strictly for transportation purposes, is a core function of state government. I am proud of the role TRUST has played, particularly over the past three legislative sessions, in working closely with legislators and Governor Fallin to make genuine progress in highway and bridge construction and renovation. The legislature and governor deserve a tremendous amount of credit for their vision and support.”

TRUST co-chairman and former Governor Frank Keating said, “Oklahoma’s economy continues to strengthen and the state’s investment in transportation infrastructure is a major reason why. To have a flourishing, modern economy you simply must have a first-class transportation network. Tremendous progress has been made since TRUST’s inception eight years ago, and I am confident state leaders will continue to recognize the immense importance of transportation again this year.”

“As an Oklahoma businessman with a keen interest in transportation issues, I am pleased with the advances transportation funding has made over the past few years,” said Kell Kelly, TRUST co-chairman and chief executive officer of Spirit Bank. “From addressing highway and bridge needs across both the state and county highway systems to construction of new ports of entries to protect our highways, roads and bridges from overweight freight, Oklahoma is moving in the right direction within the transportation arena, however we cannot lose sight of the future. Economic development competition from neighboring states will always be present, and Oklahoma’s infrastructure simply must keep pace. I am confident Governor Fallin and the legislature will continue their rigorous support of the current infrastructure plans which are working statewide.”

The TRUST agenda also includes completing the nine new port-of-entries across Oklahoma, formulating an innovative, equitable and alternative transportation funding plan, 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 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 www.restoreTRUST.org
Contact: John Cox, TRUST communications director, 405.255.8117, jdcox@cox.net

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