Transportation Conversations Kick-Off 2018 Legislative Session

“Getting to and from work shouldn’t be the hardest part of Coloradans’ daily routine. We have to repair and improve our overburdened roads and expand our transportation options to keep up with our growing population and economy,”

-Rep. Crisanta Duran, Speaker of the House

 

Rep. KC Becker addresses attendees of the 9th Legislative Breakfast.

At Commuting Solutions, the beginning of the new year also marks new opportunities to advocate for transportation funding in the northwest metro region. Prior to the start of the 2018 Legislative Session, we hosted our 9th Legislative Breakfast where attendees heard first hand from House Majority Leader, Rep. KC Becker as well as House and Senate Committee leadership regarding potential legislation to address the significant statewide funding gap.

The 2018 Legislative Session began with the potential of new federal money, discussions regarding allocations of transportation funds included in SB17-267 and continued dialogue surrounding a draft project list and potential statewide ballot measure.

Convening Leaders

Just one week after the 2018 Legislative Session kicked off, Commuting Solutions and the US 36 Mayors & Commissioners Coalition spent the morning at the Capitol meeting with state legislators and advocating for the transportation needs of the northwest metro region. The meetings produced a thoughtful dialogue surrounding the implications of Senate Bill18-001, a bill introduced that would ask the voters to authorize the issuance of $3.5 billion in transportation revenue anticipation notes (TRANs), and repeal Senate Bill17-267 which has begun to raise up to $1.88 billion for state transportation projects. It would repay the bonds by allocating 10% of state sales and use tax net revenue for that purpose. While we are still learning more about SB18-001, Commuting Solutions is skeptical because in repealing SB18-267 it would prevent the generation of new multimodal revenue that our region stands to benefit from and instead rely on existing state revenue to repay long-term borrowing which the voters may not approve and which may be necessary for other state priorities. Moreover, it would convey a false message that there is not a need for new revenue to solve our transportation needs.

Advocating for the Northwest Metro Region

On the same day that the US 36 Mayors & Commissioners Coalition (MCC) met with state legislators in the morning, representatives from Commuting Solutions and the MCC spent the afternoon at CDOT’s Transportation Commission Workshop that discussed the approach for statewide programs and reviewed amended project lists as part of preparation for a potential statewide ballot measure or other new funding sources in 2018. During the meeting, both Commuting Solutions staff and US 36 MCC Representatives provided public comment advocating for projects included in the Northwest Area Mobility Study (NAMS) to remain on the draft project list.

Engage in the Conversation

We are closely following and actively participating in conversations surrounding a potential ballot measure, new funding sources and legislation that could impact the northwest metro region. Whether you work, live or play in the northwest metro region, we encourage everyone to stay engaged in the 2018 transportation momentum. Throughout the legislative session, we are committed to sharing important advocacy alerts, bringing new stakeholders to the table and highlighting easy ways you can advocate for progress in our region.

In the words of Speaker of the House, Rep. Crisanta Duran “Let me be clear: transportation funding is a priority.”