Since the N.C. House passed Senate Bill 20 last week, the House and the Senate have appointed conferees to negotiate the difference between their respective versions of the bill. We appreciate the legislature’s action on this issue and are encouraged by the initial steps included in Senate Bill 20.
As you know, North Carolina’s transportation network requires both short- and long-term solutions to address transportation funding challenges. Senate Bill 20 is an important short-term solution to stabilize transportation funding fluctuation to meet existing transportation infrastructure needs.
This is a first step in the bigger picture of transportation funding reforms to create a stable, diversified and economically efficient revenue model that will meet the demands of roads, rail, air and ports and ensure the safety of our transportation network. The study commissioned by the NC Chamber Foundation shows for every $1 billion in additional transportation investment in our state, we will generate 14,300 jobs, $10.3 billion in additional wages and $10.8 billion in additional gross state product annually. That is an annual 10 to 1 return on investment for short- and long-term economic activity.
In addition to highlighting the benefits of long-term infrastructure investment, it also shows the negative consequences of inaction. The status quo is actually a decision for economic decline, job loss and reduced GDP – outcomes the NC Chamber and organized business community refuse to accept. North Carolina is at a critical juncture. Providing a solvent, stable transportation system will not only prepare the state for growth, but it will also advance and promote statewide economic activity and improve safety and congestion.
We will continue to keep you updated on progress on Senate Bill 20 and long-term transportation funding reform.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber