Senator Murkowski today cast her vote for S.1813, MAP-21 (the Surface Transportation Bill), and came out of the process pleased that Alaska's needs were addressed after several rounds of negotiations with her Senate colleagues.
Under this legislation, Alaskans will see:
* Funding of over $500M per year for highway programs;
* Unnecessary duplicative programs consolidated;
* Project delivery times improved by streamlining the environmental review process;
* Continued federal financing programs to help build major infrastructure projects, and
* Greater flexibility on how to use federal highway funds
Senator Murkowski, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has been making her case for weeks about the Surface Transportation Bill's potential disproportionate impact on Alaska -- and has been working to educate her Senate colleagues.
Senator Murkowski wasn't entirely satisfied with results in the area of Alaska Native involvement in highway funding. "While I appreciate the committee's willingness to address and correct the funding inequity for tribal transportation in Alaska, I am disappointed that so many of my colleagues were determined to remove tribal participation in this program," added Murkowski. "But we could not let the perfect be the enemy of the good in delivering such critical needs to rural Alaska."