Government and industry leaders from across Southern California, including Los Angeles County, are urging Congress to beat a June 30 deadline to pass legislation ensuring that revenues are available to fund vital transportation infrastructure projects for our region. At jeopardy are 2.9 million jobs across the nation.
Among those at Thursday’s press conference was Gary Toebben, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. “Reauthorization of the surface transportation bill is one of the highest priorities of the business community not just in Southern California, but across the nation,” he said. “We know that we will not have the recovery that we need to put people to work unless we invest in infrastructure. We have to move goods and people to grow the economy.”
Said Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Governments: “We need to expand the current system to account for the increase in population growth and support the prosperity of the top three industries in Southern California that are transportation dependent; trade, tourism and technology”.
Art Leahy, Los Angeles Metro CEO, added, “By working together to adopt a new surface transportation bill, Congress can get America moving again – and in the process – get millions of Americans back to work building a better future for generations to come.”
In August 2005, President Bush signed the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), a bill that authorizes how surface transportation projects are funded. This legislation expired September 30, 2009. The bill has been renewed nine times, at the 2005 funding level, over the nearly three years.
The press conference, held at the SCAG’s headquarters in Los Angeles, is available for viewing online at http://www.scag.ca.gov/scagtv