Walz introduces transit legislation

Published 9:54 am Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Congressman Tim Walz announced recently he has introduced bipartisan legislation to give rural areas a greater voice in transportation policy and to ensure rural transit receives its fair share of federal transportation funding.

“Rural citizens pay taxes just like urban citizens, but often rural communities receive the short end of the stick when it comes to federal funds for infrastructure projects. It is time for rural Minnesotans to have a greater voice in where their transportation dollars are going.” Walz said “The decisions that are made about roads and highways directly impact our local businesses that rely on well-kept infrastructure to receive shipments and move their products to market. As states put together their statewide transportation plans, rural communities should have a seat at the table. ”

H.R. 2782 would require state transportation departments to cooperate with regional transportation planning organizations. Additionally, state transportation departments would be required to disburse some of their federal funding to the rural transportation planning organizations. Walz said this revenue sharing will help ensure that rural transportation planning organizations are full partners in rebuilding America’s crumbling public infrastructure.

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This bill is supported by a bipartisan coalition that includes twenty of Congressman Walz’s colleagues in the House of Representatives and is supported by the National Association of Development Organizations, the National Organizations of Counties, the American Planning Organization, and the National League of Cities.