Transportation Committee Presentations

Featured Sessions

NCSL Staff

2011 NCSL Fall Forum
Tampa, Florida
November 30 - December 2, 2011

Transportation Committee

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Wednesday, November 30

Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation

Traditional revenues for transportation are shrinking, while infrastructure needs are growing. To meet this challenge, states are considering many new transportation financing options, including public-private partnerships. In this final meeting of the three-year NCSL PPP Partners Project, attendees reviewed the progress on the project’s Phase II and heard from state experts on public-private partnerships.

Representative Terri Austin, Indiana
Representative Linda Harper-Brown, Texas, Committee Chair

Leon Corbett, Project Finance Manager, Florida Department of Transportation

Regulatory Reform Session

Joint session with the Budgets and Revenue, and Labor and Economic Development Committees

Government agencies issue thousands of regulations every year to protect the general public and ensure safety standards. But some lawmakers believe regulations are too onerous and costly, particularly for small businesses. Several states have enacted major regulatory reform measures to improve the business climate and create new jobs. This session examined the fiscal implications of regulations and looked at recent state activity.

Moderator:  Representative Dan Flynn, Texas

Richard Morgenstern, Resources For the Future, Washington, D.C.
Paul Noe, former Director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Washington, D.C.

Transportation Committee: Business Meeting and State Round Table Discussions

Committee members discussed issues occurring in their states and reviewed NCSL policies on hazardous materials transportation; motor carrier regulation; and REAL ID.


Representative Linda Harper-Brown, Texas, Committee Chair
Senator Lynda M. Lovejoy, New Mexico, Committee Chair
Jennifer Jones, Sunset Advisory Commission, Texas, Committee Staff Chair

Thursday, December 1

Drugged Driving: Addressing a Growing Threat

Support for this session was generously provided by

“Drugged driving” has been implicated in an increasing number of auto crashes and fatalities, and is a traffic safety priority among policymakers. In this sesson legislators learned about state efforts to address impaired driving that involves illegal substances or prescription drugs.

Teresa Dioquino, Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Florida
Candace Lightner, We Save Lives, Florida
Barry Logan, Center For Forensic Science Education and Research, Pennsylvania

Federal Budget Update

Joint session with the NCSL Budgets and Revenue Committee

This session provided an update on recent federal budget activity and its effect on states, as well as the latest information on deficit reduction, FY 2012 appropriations, tax-exempt financing, pension issues and more.

Michael Bird, NCSL
Jeff Hurley, NCSL 

Another Look at Federal Highway Funding

Does the federal model for funding highways offer states a fair deal? Two recent GAO studies have found that all states received more funding than they contributed to the Highway Trust Fund from 2005 to 2009. This follow-up to NCSL's Spring Forum session assessed the existing approach to distributing highway funds and reviewed methodologies for calculating whether states are getting more or less than they put in.

Steve Cohen, Assistant Director, Physical Infrastructure Issues, Government Accountability Office

 “Ready to Crumble?” The State of America’s Infrastructure

Joint session with the NCSL Environment Committee

This year’s infrastructure report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave America barely-passing grades, and a “D” overall. In this session, ASCE as well as state legislators and staff spoke about the state of the nation’s transportation, water, energy and wastewater facilities and the potential costs of failing to invest in vital infrastructure—as well as what states are doing about it.

Representative Elaine Bowers, Kansas, NCSL Transportation Committee Vice Chair
Brian Pallasch, Managing Director of Infrastructure Initiatives, American Society of Civil Engineers, Virginia
Senator Ross Tolleson Jr., Georgia
Jennifer Jones, Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, NCSL Transportation Committee Staff Co-Chair


Carrying the Nation’s Goods—Safely

This educational session was held in anticipation of the Transportation Committee’s review of NCSL’s state-federal policies on motor carrier regulation and hazardous materials transportation.
Trucks in the U.S. carry 1.3 trillion ton-miles of freight per year and more than half the nation’s hazardous materials. This session explored how states and the federal government share responsibility for ensuring the safe, secure transport of goods and materials by commercial vehicles, with a focus on current issues including size and weight restrictions.

Paul Bomgardner, Hazardous Materials Division Chief, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Washington, D.C.
Earl Eisenhart, Coalition For Cleaner Safer Trucking, Maryland  (Written remarks)
Jennifer Macdonald
, Assistant Vice President for Government Affairs, Association of American Railroads
Representative Dave Potter, Vermont, NCSL Transportation Committee Vice Chair