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Published on Thursday, December 12, 2013

Update on funding for local infrastructure

Two out of four of AWC’s 2014 legislative priorities relate to adequate funding for local infrastructure needs. We suffered some frustrating setbacks last session, which makes it all the more important that cites continue to share the importance of infrastructure funding to your communities with your legislators and others.


Negotiations with House and Senate transportation leadership have been conducted in earnest for several weeks now. Three outstanding issues remain that House Democrats and Senate MCC members have had difficulty resolving. These are whether sales tax paid on state transportation projects should be directed to the state transportation budget rather than the operating budget; whether funds from the Model Toxics Control Account should be transferred to the transportation budget to pay for state stormwater projects; and the level of multimodal funding (i.e. bicycle/ pedestrian and transit) that should be included in the package.

The negotiators met again on the morning of Thursday, December 12 and have indicated that if a path to an agreement is not clear by Friday, December 13, there will be no action prior to the 2014 session. Action during the 2014 also seems unlikely. Regardless of what happens with negotiations, it is important that cities continue to share with their legislators the importance and urgency of a statewide transportation revenue package.

Public Works Trust Fund

Because of the McCleary decision and other state budgetary constraints, it is unlikely that there will be any reversal of the sweeping of the Public Works Trust Fund (PWTF) and the diversion of revenues out of the PWTF. AWC still plans, however, to keep this issue front and center during the 2014 session and lay the groundwork for a change in 2015. We need to provide evidence to legislators as to why this program is relevant and beneficial to the state as whole.

We need your help to tell this story! Please share what happened to your projects on the 2014 loan list to Dave Catterson. In addition, please share stories of projects from previous loan lists that were completed and the positive outcomes that resulted in your community because of the project. Legislators are compelled not only by the effects on the city budget, but also your local economy, jobs, growth patterns, and the environment.