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Jack Donahue Newsletter 8-10-07 Infrastructure PDF Print E-mail
Friday, August 31 2007 - 11:01 am

Dear Friends,

Over the past few weeks, I have been walking the district and visiting with voters about their top concerns.

Without question, one of the major issues in our district involves transportation. There is justifiable concern about the increased traffic congestion and the deteriorating condition of our major roadways. This problem negatively impacts our quality of life and harms the economic prosperity that our region is enjoying.

I understand the tremendous growth our district is experiencing, especially post-Katrina. Due to this growth, our transportation infrastructure is in desperate need of improvements.

 

As your State Senator, I will work to alleviate the traffic congestion on the major thoroughfares in our district and fight for funding to repair and widen state roads. I will support legislation that will mandate that most of the motor fuel taxes that are collected in St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes be dedicated toward roadway projects in our parishes. Studies show that approximately $51 million is collected annually in motor fuel taxes in our two parishes. This legislation will lead to a significant increase in transportation funding for both parishes. We must take action or we will continue to suffer from congestion, traffic accidents and other roadway related problems.

 

However, inadequate transportation infrastructure it is not just a problem in District 11, for Louisiana has some of the very worst roads in the nation, which negatively impacts the economy of the entire state.

In the last session of the legislature, $600 million was approved for infrastructure improvements, a record amount dedicated to fix our crumbling roads. The authorization was a positive step, but it was only a stopgap measure. Currently, the Department of Transportation and Development has a $14 billion backlog of projects that need to be completed.

 

It is high time that the state develops a sustained funding source of significant magnitude to address our transportation needs. At the present time, the primary funding source is the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), which is supported by a gas and diesel tax that was passed in 1984. Unfortunately, it is estimated that by 2009, this stagnant source of revenue will be insufficient to meet our ever-growing transportation requirements.

 

I propose the following commonsense solutions to address this transportation shortfall:

 

  • Redirect certain tax revenue, such as truck registration fees, that the state already collects into the Transportation Trust Fund
  • Shift the costs for Department of Transportation and Development employee benefits into the state’s general fund. This would provide an additional $78 million for critical infrastructure projects
  • Develop creative methods of funding future large-scale transportation projects. For example, toll roads should be utilized where acceptable.
  • The state should fund the recently created Transportation Mobility Fund (TMF) with an investment of $180 to $200 million. As a result, these funds could be leveraged to support a much larger total program.

Throughout the campaign for State Senate, I will continue to provide you my observations and suggestions on significant issues facing the state. It is time for leadership in Baton Rouge, and I stand ready to lead as your next State Senator for District 11. The election will be held on Saturday, October 20. Please join me in this campaign to not only become your next State Senator, but to also begin the long process of turning around the great State of Louisiana.

I encourage you to contact me with your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. I can be reached at (985) 612-1034 or via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Jack Donahue

Candidate for LA State Senate, District 11