Florida has long received an unfair portion of transportation funding based on antiquated funding formulas. Like every other state, Florida pays into the Highway Trust Fund through the collection of gasoline taxes. However, when the Trust Fund distributes the funding, Florida receives less in federal funding than Florida residents paid in gas taxes. Like the residents of 29 other "donor" states, this unfair funding allocation prevents Floridians from receiving their fair share of transportation funding.
Congress will soon begin debating the re-authorization of SAFETEA-LU -- the comprehensive legislation that authorizes all highway and transit projects every six years. This legislation determines the formula in which funding is distributed to states from the Highway Trust Fund. During the last authorization, some progress was made for Florida within the funding formulas. However, Florida continues to be significantly short-changed when it comes to funding -- receiving only 87 cents for every dollar put into the Trust Fund. Therefore, I have joined the Donor State Working Group -- a bi-partisan Congressional caucus that will seek to provide solutions to correct the current disparity in transportation funding.
Florida relies on significant transportation funding in order to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population. Since our residents are paying into the Trust Fund every time they fill their vehicles with gasoline, they deserve the appropriate transportation funding in return. I will keep you updated on the progress of the Donor State Working Group and the transportation debate.