More than 130 transportation design and construction professionals, chamber of commerce executives, and officials with better roads group and state transportation agencies from 36 states came together July 12 in the Nation’s Capital to share best practices for advancing transportation funding legislation and ballot initiatives during the 4th Annual National Workshop for State & Local Transportation Advocates.
The gathering was hosted by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) Transportation Investment Advocacy Center (TIAC). It featured a state legislator panel of transportation or finance committee members who discussed strategies and political challenges for funding roads, bridges and other infrastructure, including Montana State Rep. Frank Garner (District 7-Kalispell).
Dr. Alison Premo Black, ARTBA’s chief economist, provided an overview of state legislative and ballot action over the past three years, including updates on the six states to pass gas tax increases in 2017, and lessons learned from past transportation funding increases. In other sessions, panelists shared campaign strategies, tactics, messaging, opinion and economic research, legislative and ballot language, and “what’s worked and what hasn’t” in their state or local community in order to help other advocates meet their objectives.