I would first like to recognize that the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association presented the 2018 State Executive of the Year award to “our” Todd Ohlheiser, and I know Todd would say that this is an Association award but a “leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” Thanks Todd for all your hard work.
Well with the NCAA March Madness over and a champion crowned, Colorado is in the midst of a “madness” of its own, how to create a sustainable funding initiative for our 9 billion dollar transportation shortfall. Several positive steps in the right direction to decrease this shortfall have been introduced. Governor Hickenlooper requested $500 million in General Fund money to be transferred to transportation in FY 18-19 which starts July 1, 2018. So the joint budget committee set aside the $500 million in the budget, if the budget is approved this money will be available. In addition the Republican-backed Senate Bill 1 was amended with bi-partisan support to transfer $500M to the state highway fund beginning in 2019. It also transfers $248M/year for 20 years. This money can be used for maintenance or, if voters approve a ballot measure in 2018 or 2019, this money can be used for bonding up to $3.5B. Finally, the amended bill protects one year of SB267 funding at $380M. All these items are steps in the right direction as Coloradoans have voiced their concern regarding the infrastructure issues the state faces.
Recognizing a need beyond the above mentioned funding mechanisms, CSSGA along with the CIC 527 and a broader coalition are supporting a voter backed initiative to create a long-term, sustainable funding source for transportation through ballot initiatives that range from .05% to 1% sales tax increase. This is going to require all coalition members to work hard from a grassroots approach to raise money and communicate the benefits of increasing transportation funding. Keep your eyes open for further updates.
With only a little over a month left of the 71st General Assembly there will be lots to monitor so keep connected by attending our April 18th Legislative Breakfast at Tetra Tech’s office. Also, be sure to register for the June 19 Networking Event at the Colorado Mining Exchange in Colorado Springs and look to our calendar for upcoming events and training products for your organizations.
Thank you for your continued support of CSSGA.
Mark Ewald, Trinity Lightweight
CSSGA Board President