Buzz & Bulletin

Senate Bill 1 a Step to Improving Our Roads

The Colorado Department of Transportation estimates our state has a backlog of a billion dollars in unfunded state maintenance and capital projects each year.

Delivery drivers stuck in traffic, racking up overtime. Business executives and professionals late to important meetings in Denver because the highway was closed. Tourists turning around, frustrated by congestion. We hear stories like this every day from our businesses. It’s why we’ve made transportation funding and policy one of our top legislative priorities in the past few years.

Throughout this year’s legislative session, we have worked to ensure a long-term transportation solution that meets the needs of our businesses. Alongside our statewide partners, we’ve negotiated a number of the provisions in Senate Bill 1, and now believe it makes significant progress toward improving our state’s transportation network. We’re calling on our legislators to pass the bill in the last week of this year’s session.

The following letter was submitted this week to legislative leaders in support of Senate Bill 1.

Dear Speaker Duran, Senate President Grantham, House Minority Leader Neville, and Senate Minority Leader Garcia –

It is time to solve Colorado’s transportation crisis. For too long, the issue has been avoided or ignored, while our state has seen massive population growth. Due to our growth without action, we are seeing more traffic accidents, more congestion and growing costs to doing business in our state.

That’s why we are writing you to urge you to pass Senate Bill 1 – the compromise transportation funding measure that passed the State Senate with a unanimous 35-0 vote. With such overwhelming support, and such little time left in the legislative session, we believe it’s vital to keep the major areas of agreement in this historic compromise intact.

Critically, SB1 puts nearly a half billion dollars towards roads from this year’s budget surplus, and commits $250 million a year for 20 years from the General Fund to help fund a bond measure to go before voters in 2019.

If passed, SB1 would amount to the largest investment in Colorado’s transportation infrastructure in 20 years.

This is an issue that is not just important to the business community or a small sliver of the electorate. The state of our roads and bridges are impacting every last resident of the state.

Whether it is long commutes keeping parents away from their children, higher costs to businesses and consumers for goods due to increased congestion, or wear and tear of vehicles eating away at family budgets, this issue touches everyone.

Ask any TV channel, radio station, or newspaper – the number one complaint they hear from their viewers, listeners and readers is about our roads. Voters are paying attention to whether this issue is solved or not.

The legislature should not gavel out of this session without solving this issue.

At a time when public trust in our institutions is at an all-time low, the legislature has an opportunity and a risk here – they can demonstrate that solutions to our most vexing problems are possible, or they can reinforce the cynical view many people increasingly have, watching big problems become overcome by the smallness of our politics.

Don’t let this important legislative solution get jammed up in political traffic. It’s time to fix our roads.

Signed,

  • Colorado Concern
  • Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry
  • Colorado Association of Mechanical and Plumbing Contractors
  • Colorado Association of REALTORS®
  • Colorado Business Roundtable
  • Colorado Motor Carriers Association
  • Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC
  • Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
  • Denver South EDC
  • Farm Bureau Colorado
  • Fix Colorado Roads
  • Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce
  • National Federation of Independent Business
  • Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance
  • South Metro Denver Chamber
  • Upstate Colorado Economic Development
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