"One of the General Assembly's final acts in this legislative session must be to pass the Transportation budget and six-year road plan. These bills are a critical part of state government operations, as they provide direction and funding for hundreds of road and bridge maintenance and construction projects in every corner of the Commonwealth.
The Transportation Cabinet's $2.4 billion budget not only includes all funds allocated to build and maintain roads in Kentucky, but also authorizes snow and ice removal, traffic management planning, bridge inspections and many other necessary services. Those projects create jobs in every county, ensure safe roads for our families, and protect and promote commerce not only within our counties but also among our surrounding states and region.
The Federal Highway Administration has estimated that every $1 billion invested in highways supports about 28,000 direct and indirect jobs, including jobs in on-site construction, supplier industries and other support businesses.
More than any other time in our state's history, our state's economic lifeblood depends on a safe and reliable road system, and jeopardizing the passage of the road plan would threaten both the safety of our roads and the ability of our businesses to function efficiently.
The last thing the citizens of Kentucky need is another special session for the legislature to approve regular pieces of business like the Transportation budget and six-year road plan. The House has done its work. It's now time that the Senate do the same.
To assist legislators in their negotiations, as in the past, I offer full access to State Budget Director Mary Lassiter and Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock, as well as their staffs. We are prepared to provide whatever information is necessary for legislators need to deliver these vital bills on time."