CHEYENNE – Wyoming Department of Transportation Director Luke Reiner will testify before a U.S. Senate committee about the importance of continuing federal support for transportation in rural states.
Reiner will testify before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today in Washington, D.C., during a hearing titled “Investing in America’s Transportation Infrastructure: The Need for a Multi-Year Reauthorization Bill.” The meeting starts at 10 a.m.
U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., is the chairman of the committee, which is currently drafting a bill to extend many of these programs.
“I appreciate this opportunity to testify before this committee concerning the role rural states like Wyoming play in our nation’s economy,” Reiner said in a news release. “Interstates 80, 25 and 90 are major routes for our state, and we want to ensure our infrastructure not only meets the needs of our state’s economy, but the nation’s, as well.”
During Reiner’s testimony, he will ask for continued federal support for transportation in rural states. Reiner will speak about the nationwide importance of funding rural transportation as roads in states like Wyoming are used to transport goods across the nation.
Reiner will speak about the importance of using formula funding that provides money directly to the states instead of competitive discretionary funds that are awarded based on a review process, which can be slower.
Reiner also will testify about rules reductions to increase the impact of each program dollar, while still preserving the environment and ensuring adherence to federal law.
Reiner will explain the importance of a multi-year bill that will enable states to plan, design and build projects. That multi-year bill will need to have funding exceeding current levels to enhance safety, increase mobility, create jobs and strengthen the economy.
Reiner will submit his written statements on behalf of the five-rural-state coalition, which includes WYDOT and the Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota departments of transportation. His statements also will address legislation priorities for WYDOT and the other departments in renewing highway and other surface transportation programs.