Senate Joint Resolution No. 9

Introduced By stang, depratu, cole, holden, jabs, nelson, hertel, mohl, jergeson, baer

By Request of the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee

A Joint Resolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the state of Montana urging the United States Congress to act in a timely fashion to reauthorize the Federal Surface Transportation Program and to continue to recognize the national interest in the investment in highways that serve and cross rural western states.

WHEREAS, Montana's economy and the quality of life of its citizens benefit greatly from federal transportation and highway infrastructure investments; and

WHEREAS, the nation's highways are a linked, interconnected system, with the nation as a whole benefiting from federal highway infrastructure investments in rural western states, such as Montana, where our Interstate and National Highway Systems provide a bridge for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods across this vast region; and

WHEREAS, the benefits to the nation and the states from the Federal-Aid Highway Program investments include:

(1) improved mobility to support our economy and our competitive international position;

(2) access to the nation's agricultural production, its manufactured goods, and its national parks and monuments;

(3) access and mobility for our national and civil defense forces; and

(4) social progress and quality of life for our citizens; and

WHEREAS, federal highway investments are supported entirely by the fees assessed every day on the users of the nation's highways; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Highway Trust Fund could substantially increase investments in highway infrastructure without any increase in fees to the users of the highway system; and

WHEREAS, to continue the benefits of transportation and highway infrastructure investments, the Federal Surface Transportation Program must be reauthorized by the United States Congress before the program expires on October 1, 1997.


That the United States Congress is urged to act promptly to reauthorize the Federal Surface Transportation Program and that this reauthorization should include:

(1) full investment of all Federal Highway Trust Fund balances, interest, and revenue in much-needed transportation and highway infrastructure;

(2) a high level of support for the nation's most important highways, our Interstate System and National Highway System routes;

(3) fair treatment of western, rural states in the distribution of Federal-Aid Highway Program funds between states, including recognition that the western states have vast highway systems that benefit the entire nation and few people to support them;

(4) regulatory reduction and program streamlining to improve the timeliness and cost-effectiveness of highway project delivery; and

(5) respect for the uniqueness of each state's approach to managing its transportation system. Solutions in small, densely populated eastern states may not make sense in the west. One size does not fit all, so the federal government should refrain from mandating solutions.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Secretary of State send a copy of this resolution to the Director of the Montana Department of Transportation, the President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, and each member of the Montana Congressional Delegation.