U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Dist. 14) recently voted with a House majority for H.R. 3763, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, helping to pass a long-term bill to fund federal surface-transportation programs for six years.
The measure’s approval is seen as an important step forward, considering that it has been nearly 10 years since any highway bill lasting longer than two years has made it to the president's desk.
“Since my time on the Transportation Committee in the House, I have fought hard to find long-term solutions that provide certainty for Illinois’ state and local governments planning for infrastructure improvements,” Hultgren said. “Over the past months, I have sought the input and expertise of 14th District transportation officials and communities who know firsthand their infrastructure needs. I have fought hard for their interests to be included in the final bill, including ensuring equity among Chicago, the suburbs and downstate Illinois. I am pleased (Transportation and Infrastructure Committee) Chairman (Bill) Shuster (R-PA) has agreed to work on ensuring this equity as the bill heads to conference with the Senate.”
As the highway bill has traveled through the legislative process, Hultgren has received input from transportation officials and communities in the 14th District:
• In September, several county officials from northern Illinois sent a letter to Hultgren, asking him to raise the issue of equitable transportation funding among urban, suburban and rural areas. Following a regional roundtable he recently hosted with Shuster, Hultgren secured a commitment from the chairman to work on directing funding to suburban communities.
• In August, Hultgren hosted a Community Leadership Forum on Transportation and Technology to discuss how the community can take advantage of the power of technology to transform northern Illinois through innovations in transportation.
• In February, Hultgren joined nearly 300 colleagues in urging House leaders to find a multi-year surface transportation solution that includes a long-term, sustainable funding stream for the Highway Trust Fund.
• In January, Hultgren met with Plainfield officials to hear from them about what should take priority in any and all transportation legislation.
“As I have urged House leadership previously, I believe we must avoid short-term funding bills and prevent never-ending fiscal crises from stopping our important work of overseeing how tax dollars are spent,” Hultgren said. “I look forward to moving the final bill to the president’s desk and continuing the trend toward long-term fiscal planning in all areas of government.”