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Second Regular Session

Sixty-first General Assembly

LLS NO. R98­0859.01 BJA





WHEREAS, A safe and efficient highway system is essential to the nation's international competitiveness, key to domestic productivity, and vital to our quality of life; and

WHEREAS, Colorado has critical highway investment needs that cannot be addressed with current financial resources as exhibited by the fact that the Federal Highway Administration rates forty­six percent of nine thousand six hundred twenty­five miles of Colorado's most important roads in either poor or mediocre condition and considers twenty­one percent of Colorado's bridges to be deficient; and

WHEREAS, The current level of federal funding for the nation's highway system is inadequate to meet rehabilitation needs, maintain the safety of the traveling public, begin solving congestions and rural access problems, conduct adequate transportation research, and keep the United States competitive in a global economy; and

WHEREAS, The federal highway program is financed by dedicated user fees that are collected from motorists to improve the highway system and deposited in the federal highway trust fund; and

WHEREAS, The federal "Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997" transferred all federal motor fuel taxes into the federal highway trust fund but provided no mechanism to ensure that such funds are spent; and

WHEREAS, The 1998 congressional budget would constrain federal highway spending well below the level of tax receipts credited to the federal highway trust fund, allowing the trust fund's cash balance to grow from just over twenty­two billion dollars to more than seventy billion dollars by the year 2003; and

WHEREAS, Colorado and other states will be prohibited from obligating any federal highway funds after April 30, 1998, unless the United States Congress and the President enact new highway legislation by that date; and

WHEREAS, Without federal highway funds, many states will be forced to delay life­saving safety improvements, congestion relief projects, and other road and bridge improvements; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the House of Representatives of the Sixty­first General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the Senate concurring herein:

That the United States Congress should enact legislation reauthorizing the federal highway program by May 1, 1998.

Be It Further Resolved, That the reauthorization legislation should fund the federal highway program at the highest level that the revenues in the user­financed federal highway trust fund will support.

Be It Further Resolved, That copies of this Joint Resolution be sent to the United States House of Representatives, the Untied States Senate, the President of the United States, and to each member of the Colorado Congressional Delegation.