The 26th Alaska State Legislature, 2009 - 2010||
Sponsor Statement: House Joint Resolution 42
Constitutional Am.: Transportation Fund
“Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State of Alaska creating a transportation infrastructure fund.”
Posted: February 11, 2010 : v26-LS1411\E
Bill Version: CSHJR 42(JUD)
Status: (S) FIN : 2010-04-14
HJR 42 will put a constitutional amendment before voters to change The Alaska Constitution to allow a dedicated fund for Capital Transportation Projects.
In FY10 87% of our transportation budget came from the federal government. The current federal reauthorization legislation has already expired and is being extended month to month until new legislation can be passed. Everything we are hearing about the new reauthorization bill is unfavorable for states with small populations.
The roads, bridges, airports, ferries and transit systems that make up our state's transportation system are essential to mobility, commerce and economic development. This system enhances economic competitiveness, increases safety and enhances quality of life. There is a growing imbalance between system use and capacity as well as the need for new infrastructure to access our valuable resources. To insure Alaska has the infrastructure necessary to develop our resources as well as providing a quality of life for our citizens we must commit to funding transportation. Having a guaranteed amount that can be counted on from year to year will allow Alaska to tackle today's congestion and maintenance projects as well as developing the needed access to resources and energy.
The state of Alaska spends between and every year and has for the past 50 years. With all that investment we continue to fall behind in meeting our states needs. It will continue to get worse as we see federal dollars shrinking. This dedicated fund will generate approximately $60M the first year and grow by $6-$7M each year. In 30 years it will yield around $130M.
The crafters of the constitution grandfathered in dedicated funds. They realized that some funds would be needed no matter the economic or political climate. Transportation was one of the funds that predated the constitution. It lasted for several years until it was eliminated.