For immediate release: July 6, 2011
Contact: Maria Fuentes, 207-592-0227
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Transportation braces for $230 million drop in capital investments
AUGUSTA – Changes to the Highway Fund budget by the recently completed session of the Maine Legislature will result in a net decrease of $220 million on capital transportation spending slated for the current 2012-2013 biennium. That is according to an analysis by Maine Better Transportation Association, based on figures from the legislature’s non-partisan Office of Fiscal and Program Review.
“This biennium could very well go down in history as having the worst capital investment forecast in the history of the Highway Fund,” said Maria Fuentes, executive director of the Maine Better Transportation Association, a 700-member organization that advocates for investments in a safer, more efficient transportation system. Fuentes said that several actions by the administration and legislature conspired to create a $220 million decrease in capital investments over the 2010-2011 MaineDOT work plan. Those factors included the repeal of fuel tax indexing, a decision to forego bonding for transportation infrastructure improvements and a failure to take key steps to create adequate new revenue streams to fill that funding gap.
“To borrow from a Clint Eastwood classic, this legislative session is a case of ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ of transportation funding,” said Fuentes. She added that, while not all the transportation news coming out of the state capital was bad news, “the negative forces on the state’s Highway Fund far outweigh the modest gains made.“
To view MBTA’s analysis of transportation investment resulting from the recently ended legislative session, please read the Maine Transportation Backgrounder
accompanying this release. For more information about MBTA, visit www.mbtaonline.org.
* Press release updated 11/11.