Congressman Bill Owens has signed on as an original cosponsor to the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), a bi-partisan Surface Transportation Reauthorization passed in the Senate earlier this month. This legislation would invest in New York's critical transportation infrastructure and help provide a mechanism to create quality, local jobs in the short-term and economic development in the long-term. The bill passed the Senate with an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority, 74-22.
Owens recently discussed the need for a long-term transportation bill with county highway administrators, the Associated General Contractors of America, unions, and local businesses -- including Greystone Quarries in Plattsburgh and Barrett Paving in Watertown. The legislation has gained strong support from industry stakeholders.
"This legislation represents bipartisan support for job growth in construction and manufacturing, and a long-term commitment to American transportation, allowing local and industry leaders to plan for the future," said Owens. "I have heard consistently from constituents across the region expressing support for a long-term transportation bill that will provide certainty for major projects. This legislation will help move the ball forward on road, rail, bridge and other projects critical to helping the region recover from severe weather, make long needed repairs and create a more attractive for businesses to hire and invest in New York State."
Transportation investments have lagged in recent years as partisanship in Washington has delayed a long-term authorization, forcing Congress to instead rely on eight temporary extensions since the most recent highway bill expired in 2009. Many local leaders have described the current political environment as discouraging when it comes to investing in long-term projects.