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May 5, 2015

Re:  Mayor Wahler Addresses U.S. Senate Committee on Transportation Funding Issues

Dear Mayor:

This morning in Washington, New Jersey League of Municipalities President, Mayor Brian Wahler of Piscataway, testified on the need for Congress to enact a long term transportation infrastructure policy. With the Federal Highway Trust Fund slated to run out of money at the end of this month, Mayor Wahler appeared before the United States Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security. New Jersey U.S. Senator Cory Booker, the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee, has been leading the fight for a multi-year transportation policy bill.    You can access the Mayor’s testimony at http://www.njslom.org/TTF/Mayor-Wahlers-Senate-Testimony.pdf.  Citing recent research, Mayor Wahler noted:

Transportation investments affect not only the level of economic output but geographic distribution of economic activity. In other words, like a Field of Dreams, if you build it, they will come. And they will bring their checkbooks with them. Reduced transportation costs, produced by investments in infrastructure in the past, facilitated the growth of cities across the United States. 

Noting the progress and prosperity that followed the passage of the Interstate Highway Act, 60 years ago, and the negative consequences of disinvestment, the local government leader also stated:

If we, in the U.S., want to remain an economic leader, it is obvious that we need to reverse these trends. If we want the best for our people, our businesses and the future of our children, we need to imitate the intelligence and the integrity exhibited by President Eisenhower and our leaders in Congress in 1956. The economic case for investment in our long-term infrastructure is clear-- we know it will grow the economy, create good jobs, and position us for long-term growth. The moral case for action is just as plain. Will we leave the costs of disinvestment to our children? … This is the month when Congress decides, and the time for action is now.

We thank Senator Booker for his leadership on this and Mayor Wahler for his advocacy. Please contact your Member of the House of Representatives, urging support for action on a multi-year transportation policy bill that will provide local governments with dependable and sufficient funding to address our local needs. Also, if you have the opportunity, thank Senator Booker for his efforts on this matter, and Senator Menendez for his long-standing support.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

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