Gov. Perry: A Strong Transportation Infrastructure Will Help Maintain A Strong Economy
Addresses Associated General Contractors of Texas' 25th Annual Trade and Equipment Show
Gov. Rick Perry today addressed the Associated General Contractors of Texas' (AGCT) 25th Annual Trade and Equipment Show where he emphasized the increasing need to amplify the capacity and maintain the quality of Texas' transportation system. He also stressed the importance of a strong transportation infrastructure in helping maintain a strong economy.
"Our transportation infrastructure is overwhelmed by an increasing number of vehicles, as a result of more than 1,000 people moving to Texas each day. Time spent in traffic is money lost for businesses and time lost for families to spend together," said Gov. Perry. "If Texas is to remain competitive in the national and global economy, we must find adequate and stable funding for new road construction and maintenance."
The governor noted that while the Texas economy is strong, it is interconnected with the economies of other states and nations, and a ripple effect from the current financial crisis will certainly affect the state to some degree. From businesses to state agencies, he emphasized the need to stay ahead of those effects by tightening belts and prioritizing spending.
Transportation continues to be a priority of Gov. Perry's administration and he highlighted the commitment by the leadership to work together to implement long-term transportation funding solutions in the 81st Legislative Session. The solutions include ending the gas tax diversion to fund the Texas Department of Public Safety, which amounts to $1.2 billion each biennium; creating a Transportation Finance Corporation to allow Texas-based investment funds to invest directly in Texas transportation projects; and passing authorizing legislation and appropriation for the Proposition 12 bonds approved by voters in the November 2007 constitutional election.
In the past 25 years, Texas' population has increased 57 percent and road use has nearly doubled, but state road capacity has grown grew by only eight percent. On average, more than 1,000 people move to Texas every day. Over the next 25 years, that Texas population growth is expected to continue, and the Texas Department of Transportation predicts road use will likely increase 214 percent; however, according to current plans, capacity is projected to grow by a mere 6 percent.
"As Texas seeks to attract new companies and encourage business expansion within the state, it must focus more on transportation which is a top factor for any organization looking to relocate or expand its business," said Gov. Perry. "If Texas fails to address this serious issue at hand, we run the risk of declined job growth and a weakened business climate."
Transportation remains a top consideration for businesses looking to relocate or expand. Earlier this year, CNBC ranked Texas the number one state for business, citing transportation infrastructure as one of the key factors for our success, and for the third straight year, Chief Executive Magazine ranked Texas as the best state in which to do business, applauding the state for controlling taxes and spending as well as for its positive regulatory burden, quality of life and infrastructure.
The Associated General Contractors of Texas Annual Trade and Equipment Show is an exhibition of the latest in highway technology and equipment and a networking opportunity for highway industry professionals. The AGCT is one of the oldest and largest trade associations in the nation and comprises nearly 900 member firms from across the state. An estimated 1,500 highway heavy contractors and associate members attended the luncheon.