PRESS RELEASES

TRUST Leader  Commends ODOT for  National  Recognition

Aug 13, 2020  |  Transportation Revenues Used Strictly For Transportation

The president of Transportation Revenues Used Strictly for Transportation (TRUST), issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation that they have earned a top ten ranking (#9) in the Federal Highway Administration’s 2019 state bridge rankings. Neal McCaleb said, “The Federal Highway Administration’s top ten recognition of Oklahoma’s state bridge infrastructure is applauded by TRUST. On behalf of our membership, I commend the ODOT staff, and the countless number of present and former legislators, governors, state transportation officials and the private sector who all have played a key role in contributing to this very significant recognition. This is a proud day for the state of Oklahoma, and is evidence of what a targeted and committed investment program can accomplish.”

Contact: Neal McCaleb, 405.740.3533
RestoreTRUST.org

TRUST Announces 2020 Legislative Goals

Jan 31, 2020  |  Transportation Revenues Used Strictly For Transportation

Eight-year highway and bridge construction plan top priority

Transportation Revenues Used Strictly For Transportation (TRUST), an advocacy group dedicated to funding and restoring Oklahoma’s transportation infrastructure, announced its 2020 legislative agenda today with protection of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) eight-year highway and bridge construction plan once again its top priority.

While the final FY21 budget will not be finalized by the legislature until the final days of the legislative session, TRUST leaders emphasized the importance of continuing to invest in Oklahoma’s highways and bridges.

 

“Since 2006, the legislature has steadily invested in Oklahoma’s transportation infrastructure, most notably upgrading and modernizing bridges and highways across the state, and taxpayers are enjoying the benefits,” said TRUST president Neal McCaleb, former state transportation secretary and director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. TRUST continues to be an active participant at the state Capitol, and our members have worked closely with the legislature to make genuine progress to modernize our highway and bridge infrastructure. The legislature and executive branch deserve much credit for their vision and support.”

 

TRUST co-chairman and former Governor Frank Keating commented, “Having a first-rate transportation infrastructure system grows an economy. That is a fact. Oklahomans have benefitted from a steady re-investment of our highways and bridges, however major projects, such as addressing our two-lane state highways, are needed across Oklahoma. I firmly believe transportation investment should always be a core priority of the legislative and executive branches, and I am confident the legislative leadership and Governor Stitt will continue to recognize its vital importance as well.”

 

“Transportation investment is not an overnight process, and past budget challenges created a challenging environment at the state Capitol,” said Kell Kelly, TRUST co-chairman. “In order for Oklahoma’s transportation system to continue to progress TRUST members will again advocate to the legislature that all transportation-derived revenues, such as motor fuel taxes and motor vehicle fees, be allocated strictly for transportation purposes. From addressing state and county surface infrastructure needs to advanced development of our turnpike system to continued highway safety improvements, Oklahoma is moving in the right direction, however we cannot lose sight of the future. Economic development competition from our neighbors is always present. Private sector businesses locate in states with where its 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. I urge Governor Stitt and the legislature to continue their support of the current infrastructure plans which are allowing Oklahoma to invest in a true 21st century transportation network.”

 

The TRUST agenda also includes restoring monies to the CIRB fund for county highway and bridge needs, restoring all motor fuel taxes and motor vehicle fees to transportation programs, completion of Oklahoma’s new ports-of-entry (weigh stations), formulating equitable, but not punitive, alternative transportation funding and long-term funding of the federal Highway Trust Fund.

TRUST Encouraged by Road User Fund Progress

Dec 19, 2018  |  Transportation Revenues Used Strictly For Transportation

The president of TRUST (Transportation Revenues Used Strictly for Transportation), Neal McCaleb, issued the following statement regarding the State Board of Equalization meeting held this morning at the state Capitol.“



 

Based on the preliminary budget report from the State Board of Equalization, the members of TRUST are very encouraged by the amount of additional road user dollars allocated to ongoing surface transportation infrastructure projects within the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s Eight-Year Highway and Bridge Construction Plan.  A modern and safe surface transportation network is vital to growing Oklahoma’s economy, and today’s report keeps the needle moving in that direction.”



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

Former Secretary of Transportation, ODOT, OTA Directory Gary Ridley To Join TRUST Board

Nov 13, 2018  |  Transportation Revenues Used Strictly For Transportation

Transportation Revenues Used Strictly for Transportation (TRUST), an advocacy group dedicated to funding and restoring Oklahoma’s transportation infrastructure, announced today that Gary Ridley, former Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation and director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, has joined its board of directors.  Ridley was appointed Secretary of Transportation by Democrat Governor Brad Henry in 2009 and retained by Republican Governor-Elect Mary Fallin in 2010. He served in the position until retiring in June 2017. He retired from ODOT in 2013 after 44 years of service in a variety of positions, including as director from August 2001-March 2013. He also retired as OTA director in March 2013 after serving as director since November 2009.

TRUST president Neal McCaleb, also a former Secretary of Transportation and ODOT/OTA director, said Ridley’s decades of experience and knowledge of the transportation industry will be extremely beneficial to TRUST’s mission moving forward.

 

“The members of TRUST and our board of directors are ecstatic to have Gary Ridley join our team as we continue to advocate for all transportation-generated revenues be used strictly for transportation purposes and not diverted to other areas of state government,” McCaleb said. “During his time at ODOT and OTA, as well as Secretary of Transportation, Gary was a level-headed voice of knowledge and experience, and played a key role in helping legislators of both parties understand the core importance that a modern and safe surface transportation system plays to Oklahoma’s economy and quality of life. He will be a tremendous asset to the TRUST team.”

Ridley commented, “I am honored to join the TRUST board of directors and the fine Oklahoma businesses, trade organizations and individuals that compose its membership. Since its inception in 2005, the TRUST mission has been straight forward; return transportation-generated revenues to transportation maintenance and construction, and they have been effective to the point of being one of the most highly respected advocacy organizations in Oklahoma. I hope, through my experience, that I can supplement their advocacy efforts in an ongoing effort to place transportation as a core function of state government.”   

 

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

Former House Speaker Chris Benge Presented Guardian Award From Transportation Coalition

Oct 18, 2018  |  Transportation Revenues Used Strictly For Transportation

Transportation Revenues Used Strictly For Transportation (TRUST), an advocacy group dedicated to funding and restoring Oklahoma’s infrastructure, presented its seventh Guardian of Transportation award to former Speaker of the House and former Secretary of State Chris Benge today during its annual Transportation Innovation Forum held at the Oklahoma History Center.  Benge (R-Tulsa) was elected to House District 68 in 1998 and served as Speaker from 2008-2011. He served as Secretary of State from 2013-2016 and currently serves as chief-of-staff to Governor Mary Fallin.  TRUST president Neal McCaleb, former secretary of transportation and director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, said the award is presented to an individual that exemplifies excellence in all areas of the transportation industry.

 

"There are many deserving individuals of this award who have contributed to the tremendous progress made to improve Oklahoma’s transportation infrastructure, and Speaker Benge is certainly one of them,” McCaleb said. “During his time in the legislature and as Speaker, he was a champion in advocating for transportation to be returned as a core priority of state government, and he played a key role in the advancement of Oklahoma’s transportation infrastructure on many levels. His dedication to that cause makes him a natural selection for this award, and it is an honor for TRUST to present our Guardian of Transportation award to him.”

Benge commented, “It is an honor to receive the Guardian of Transportation award from TRUST.  Over the past 12 years, Oklahoma has made tremendous progress in addressing its structurally deficient bridges and highways with capital projects evident across Oklahoma on both the state and county highway systems.  I am proud to have played a role in the advancement of this core state government mission.  It has been an incredible story to see our state move away from a transportation system held together by duct tape and baling wire, to one that brings a modern delivery of infrastructure that will allow our citizens to thrive in a 21st century economy. I am very appreciative of TRUST for this honor.”

Benge joins former Secretary of Transportation, ODOT and OTA director Gary Ridley, former Governor George Nigh, Workers’ Compensation Commission Chairman and former state Rep. Mark Liotta, TRUST co-founder and former Oklahoma Transportation Commission Chairman Tom Love, U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe and Corporation Commissioner and former Speaker of the House Todd Hiett as a recipient of the annual award.

A crowd of nearly 175 TRUST members, transportation officials and advocates, state legislators and elected officials attended the event which featured ‘fireside transportation chats’ with gubernatorial nominees Kevin Stitt and Drew Edmondson.  

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.

TRUST Announces 2018 Legislative Goals

Feb 6, 2018  |  Transportation Revenues Used Strictly For Transportation

Eight-year highway and bridge construction plan top priority

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 depends 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.

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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