Metro Chamber Champions Transportation Infrastructure Improvements and New Projects

Roads are the lifeblood of commerce, enabling individuals and goods to cover large distances with greater efficiency, speed and safety.
Recognizing the virtues of surface transportation and local control over projects to improve existing transportation infrastructure and develop new thoroughfares, U.S. Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV- 1) has proposed the Innovation in Surface Transportation Act. The act would revamp the process by which existing resources are deployed to maintainandimprovetransitsystems in localities.

The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce has given its support to the bipartisan measure, and Metro Chamber President and CEO Kristin McMillan stood beside Congresswoman Dina Titus, Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani and Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross to deliver remarks in support of the proposed bill. Especially promising are provisions that allow local governments and municipalities to partner with chambers of commerce and other stakeholder organizations
to provide input as to where project funds could be best spent.

“It’s about local governments, local entities, business, bicycle groups – everybody coming to the table to decide where the dollars should go,” Congresswoman Titus said at the press conference on July 7. “It’s intended to empower state stakeholders who are impacted by state transportation investment decisions, but who aren’t at the table right now.”

Titus stressed that the bill calls for no new taxes and no additional funding, but uses existing funds. By improving the process and changing the way projects are designated and funded, new efficiencies would be created. Under existing formulas, $54 million would be freed up for disbursement by local governments and organizations this year, should the bill pass.
The bill is co-sponsored by Republican U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis of Illinois (IL-13), who serves with Titus on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. It is designed to introduce a new level of competition and accountability
into the funding of transportation projects. To accomplish that end, the bill provides a process by which local leaders and relevant organizations can collaborate on future transportation projects.

“The Innovation in Surface Transportation Act is a common- sense, bipartisan bill to give local entities a stronger voice when it comes to funding local projects,” Congressman Davis said at a separate press conference held in Normal, Illinois. “Additionally, this bill recognizes our nation’s fiscal realities by giving preference to projects that strengthen the return on investment, encouraging public- private partnerships and increasing transparency so that every federal dollar spent goes a little bit further.”

The Metro Chamber’s support of this bill adds to its complement of action meant to develop transportation in Southern Nevada, including strong support for the I-11 project that would update existing roadways between Phoenix and Las Vegas to interstate standards. For more information, contact the Metro Chamber Government Affairs department at 702.641.5822.