Governors to Explore Congestion Relief, Financing, Project Streamlining and Efficiencies, Cyber Safeguards
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced a yearlong initiative to push for the repair, enhancement and modernization our nation’s infrastructure through innovative fixes to bottlenecks, creative partnerships with private investors, streamlined project review, smarter technologies and improved cyber-defenses, as his signature effort as incoming chair of the National Governors Association.
Gov. Hogan’s Chair’s Initiative, Infrastructure: Foundation for Success, builds on increasingly active state efforts to meet the infrastructure needs of the 21st century, a task made more urgent by the lack of comprehensive federal action to address the nation’s aging infrastructure. Gov. Hogan’s initiative will help governors and other state leaders solve challenges with their roads, bridges, airports, railways, transit, energy, water and broadband internet systems and other infrastructure by sharing lessons and ideas from around the country, as well as Australia, Canada and Japan, where study tours are planned.
Gov. Hogan outlined his initiative as he took the gavel to lead the National Governors Association, from outgoing chair Montana Governor Steve Bullock, at the NGA 2019 Summer Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“Modern and well-functioning infrastructure is vital to a prosperous economy, public safety and quality of life for all Americans,” Gov. Hogan said. “Through my NGA Chair’s Initiative, Infrastructure: Foundation for Success, America’s governors will build on their record of leadership to explore solutions that ensure that America’s infrastructure is responsive, efficient and safeguarded against cyber threats. Governors are dedicated to finding better ways to move people and goods and provide energy, water and communications services.”
Infrastructure: Foundation for Success rests on four pillars:
- Governors can help lessen congestion — to better move people and goods, connect people to jobs, and improve productivity — through innovative policies and new technologies.
- Governors can expedite vital projects and reduce uncertainty and costs by adopting streamlined processes for permitting and review that increase transparency while meeting environmental, planning and procurement goals.
- Governors can safeguard critical infrastructure — including the electric grid, oil and natural gas transmission and storage facilities, water treatment facilities, and the transportation network – from cyber attacks, in collaboration with the private sector and local and federal government.
- Governors can increase investments by expanding a range of revenue options and helping support private-sector financing programs.
“Infrastructure has long been a federal-state-local government partnership,” Gov. Hogan said. “Unfortunately, inaction by the federal government has put the onus on states to meet the infrastructure needs of the 21st century, and around the country, governors are rising to the challenge. We are not waiting for the federal government to act, nor can we wait, and we invite Congress and the administration and other stakeholders, to join us in taking the bold actions that are needed to build a better future for our country.”
Direct federal infrastructure spending in 2016 was less than 0.1 percent of GDP, whereas state and local spending neared 1.4 percent. States have utilized a variety of tools to pay for infrastructure, including taxes, tolls, and user fees. Gov. Hogan’s initiative will look at how to best utilize the full toolbox of financing options and explore creative public-private partnerships that provide new investment opportunities while leveraging the best of government and business capabilities.
Gov. Hogan will convene four summits in conjunction with governors from four host states, one focused on each pillar of the initiative. Gov. Hogan also will lead delegations of governors to Australia, Canada and Japan, to examine infrastructure innovations abroad that can be replicated in the United States.