It took decades for Oklahoma to produce one of the most neglected transportation systems in the United States. Since 2006, former and current legislators and governors have made the commitment, with the support of TRUST, to move Oklahoma’s surface transportation infrastructure into a modern 21st century system.
T.R.U.S.T. IS AN ACRONYM FOR
TRANSPORTATION REVENUES USED STRICTLY FOR TRANSPORTATION
We formed in 2005 as a project of Oklahomans for Safe Bridges & Roads, Inc., the non-profit organization that led the campaign to pass SQ 723. SQ 723 was a ballot initiative to raise the state gasoline and diesel tax with new revenue dedicated toward transportation infrastructure construction, repair and maintenance across Oklahoma. The measure was soundly defeated by voters amid rising fuel costs at the time.
Following the defeat of SQ 723, it became evident an advocacy organization dedicated solely to restoring transportation funding as a core priority of state government was needed. TRUST began its advocacy efforts during the 2006 state legislative session.
T.R.U.S.T. is a legislative advocacy coalition dedicated to restoring Oklahoma’s transportation infrastructure.
We are committed to creating a culture within Oklahoma that values transportation
as a key function and priority of state government.
Motor vehicle fees redirected to transportation. A core TRUST principle is all transportation-derived revenues are used strictly for transportation. TRUST supports returning all motor fuel taxes and the remaining allocation of vehicle-related fees to transportation purposes, and encourages the appropriate allocation of motor vehicle fees to state highways, county roads and municipal streets taking into consideration previous vehicle-related fees and general fund allocations. TRUST will continue to support this concept as a matter of sound public policy.
Protect ODOT eight-year highway and bridge construction work plan. TRUST’s top priority is ensuring funding remains at a level where no current projects are interrupted, no planned projects cut and no motor fuel taxes and vehicle-related transportation fees diverted from ODOT’s investment strategy which includes the eight-year construction work plan, the Asset Preservation Plan and highway maintenance. TRUST opposes the diversion of funds from ODOT’s general budget and/or the eight-year plan to aid budget deficits.
Support the full statutory allocation to the ROADS fund. In an effort to continue the replacement and rehabilitation of state highways and bridges, TRUST supports this statutory allocation as a core business function of the state.
Infrastructure bond financing. During uncertain budget times TRUST supports infrastructure bond financing to maintain critical transportation funding and projects, and vehemently opposes the diversion of motor fuel taxes and vehicle-related transportation fees to non-transportation uses of state government.
Restore funding to County Improvements for Roads & Bridges (CIRB) five-year construction work plan. To rehabilitate county bridges and highways, TRUST supports the CIRB program and its revolving fund to be used strictly for CIRB transportation projects with no interruption of current projects and no elimination of planned projects. Furthermore, TRUST calls for the restoration of diverted funds from CIRB to the state budget over the past several years.
Protect transportation-dedicated revolving funds. TRUST supports the protection of transportation dedicated revolving funds. The funds are intended to fund transportation infrastructure projects and should not be diverted for other governmental purposes.
Renovation of Ports of Entries – Weigh Stations. TRUST supports methods to complete the construction of Oklahoma’s new ports of entries in order to protect highways and bridges from overweight freight. Doing so will result in additional revenues from fines and fees due to increased monitoring of overweight commercial traffic. TRUST also supports returning the one-cent transportation user fee from the Petroleum Storage Tank Indemnity Fund to transportation needs to service the bond debt. This allows for no revenue impact or increased taxes while utilizing transportation fees to support transportation needs.
Innovative funding for transportation. TRUST supports innovative and alternative transportation funding that is revenue equitable but not punitive, and for the intended purpose of establishing equitable mobility through a comprehensive approach to increase overall transportation funding.
Support long-term funding of Highway Trust Fund and federal surface transportation programs. TRUST supports the FAST Act, the five-year transportation funding bill passed in 2015 by Congress and signed by the President. Long-term funding provides stability to the Highway Trust Fund, enabling states to more accurately plan future projects while providing regulatory relief.
Support Tribal Transportation Program. Each year tribal transportation partnerships across the state contribute close to $60 million to highway and bridge construction. TRUST supports the current apportionment formula of Tribal Transportation Program federal funds and supports expansion of the Tribal Transportation Program and tribal partnerships.
FORUMS & EVENTS
sponsored by TRUST
Throughout the year, TRUST sponsors events and forums to assist new and veteran legislators, and state officials in understanding Oklahoma’s critical transportation needs. Events are held Senate and House Transportation Committee members who provide legislative updates while in return receiving unified appreciation from TRUST members. TRUST also periodically hosts or participates in other special events such as highway and bridge ground breakings, grand openings and dedications, transportation forums and special legislative and executive events such as the Speaker’s Ball and gubernatorial inaugurations. TRUST hosts the annual Transportation Innovation Forum which regularly features a nationally-known transportation sector expert or office holder. Event topics can range from how surface transportation is funded at the federal level to how highways and bridges are designed, constructed and maintained, to how market fluctuations affect construction costs and maintenance and the newest construction technologies. The event also features awarding of the TRUST Guardian of Transportation, an annual award presented to an Oklahoman who has dedicated their time and expertise to the betterment of Oklahoma’s surface transportation infrastructure. TRUST also annually hosts Transportation Day at the Capitol which includes a legislative luncheon and program featuring the Governor, Senate President Pro Tempore, Speaker of the House, Senate and House Transportation Committee and Budget Committee Chairs and county officials.
TRUST communicates on a regular basis with its members, policy makers and transportation advocates through a variety of methods:
In Memory of
Board Member 2006 - 2020