Rock Products

JAN 2019

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30 • ROCK products • January 2019 www.rockproducts.com Outlook/Forecast 2019 W e are still waiting. Last year was supposed to be the year President Trump's long-promised infrastructure plan came to fruition. That didn't happen. Going forward, hopes for a new bill rests squarely on the shoulders of the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, and it may be the only place they and the Trump administra- tion can find common ground. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) is first in line to chair the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee under the new Democratic House majority. The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) said it has a great work- ing relationship with the new majority committee staff. An advocate of increasing funding for the Highway Trust Fund, DeFazio has vowed that a top priority will be making the Trust Fund solvent. In the midterm elections, voters voiced their support for infrastructure. Voters in 12 states re-elected 93 percent of 530 state lawmakers who supported a gas tax increase between 2015 and 2018 and ran for re-election in 2018. Win- ning state lawmakers in Nov. 6 races included 92 percent of Republicans and 94 percent of Democrats, according to a new analysis from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association's Transportation Investment Advocacy Center (ARTBA-TIAC). The results are consistent with those from the last five years that show support for a gas tax increase does not hurt politi- cal careers. Including 2018, voters have re-elected 92 percent of nearly 1,900 state lawmakers who voted in favor of a gas tax increase since 2013. This support for lawmakers who approve a gas tax increase persists across party lines as well – more than 90 percent of Democrats and 94 percent of Republicans were re-elected. Ninety percent of 211 state legislators who voted against a gas tax increase and ran for re-election in 2018 won their races, including 88 percent of Republicans and 96 percent of Democrats. Of the 923 elected officials who voted against a gas tax increase between 2013 and 2018 and ran for re-elec- tion, 92 percent were also given another term. The Public Is On-Board Voters in 31 states showed their support for transportation infrastructure investments, approving 272, or 79 percent, of 346 state and local ballot measures. In total, the approved ini- tiatives are expected to generate over $30 billion in one-time and recurring revenue, according to the analysis conducted by ARTBA-TIAC. The 2018 preliminary results reaffirmed the trend of recent years, demonstrating strong voter support for investments to maintain and improve state and local transportation net- works. Including 2018, voters have approved 78 percent of nearly 1,700 transportation investment ballot measures tracked by ARTBA-TIAC since 2009. In the most closely watched initiative of 2018, California voters turned back Proposition 6, an effort to repeal an increase in the state gasoline and diesel motor fuels tax that had been approved by the legislature as part of a 2017 transportation funding law. The 55 percent to 45 percent decision by voters will help preserve more than $50 billion for urgently needed highway, bridge, and transit improve- ments in California over a 10-year period. "By soundly rejecting Proposition 6 and re-electing 95 per- cent of the state legislators who voted in 2017 to increase the state gas tax to fund needed transportation improvements, California voters showed the public continues to support a user funded approach to infrastructure investment. That's a message the Trump administration and new Congress should Outlook/Forecast 2019 With or Without a Federal Infrastructure Plan, 2019 is Likely to be a Year of Incremental Gains. By Mark S. Kuhar and Josephine Patterson

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