On February 12th the President released his plan to invest at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure over the next 10 years. The plan includes no new revenue and instead would utilize $200 billion in existing federal fund to leverage over $1 billion in funds from state, local and private sources. For a copy of the President’s plan please click here.
The League is committed to advocating for greater investment in infrastructure and has partnered with the National League of Cites to make this a top priority at the federal level. We are calling on Congress to frame an infrastructure plan that works collaboratively with cities and reflects five guiding principles:
- SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT: Together, cities and our federal partners must address the existing core infrastructure backlog, reestablish long-term funding and use new technologies that will serve America’s cities for the next 100 years.
- LOCALLY-DRIVEN PROJECTS: Local leaders, from cities large and small, are best positioned to identify where infrastructure needs are greatest and should be given a stronger voice in how limited federal dollars are invested.
- FEDERAL-LOCAL PARTNERSHIP: Cities are already paying their fair share and need a steady federal partner to fund existing national programs and make significant capital investments for the long-term benefit of the economy.
- EXPAND REVENUE TOOLS: Cities should be given more flexibility to raise revenues and use innovative financing techniques while protecting existing tools, such as tax-exempt bonds, to drive regional investments that tie into the national network.
- REBUILD AND REIMAGINE: Cities are leading the way in building intermodal, sustainable and interconnected infrastructure networks that support a modern economy. Congress must invest in cities’ vision to rebuild and reimagine America’s infrastructure.
While there are things within the President’s proposal that build upon these five guiding principles, we must ensure that any future investment is sustainable and does not unreasonably burden local government. We will be attending the National League of Cities Congressional Cities Conference in March to deliver this message directly to our congressional delegation.
John LaMacchia is the Assistant Director of State and Federal Affairs for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment issues. He can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0303.