Through multi-year surface transportation bills, Congress provides a guaranteed funding stream for highway, transit, and road safety projects throughout the United States. South Dakota and the nation have greatly benefited from a consistent level of funding, which has resulted in new roads and improvements throughout our state.
In 2012, Congress passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). This measure reauthorizes federal highway and public transportation programs through Fiscal Year 2014, providing states with the certainty necessary for planning construction projects. As Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over the federal transit component of the highway measure, I worked with my colleagues to develop this bill, which maintains current funding levels for highways and public transportation and includes significant reforms to make our nation’s transportation programs more streamlined and efficient.
Federal investment in infrastructure, especially in vast states like ours, is critical in maintaining safe roads and bridges that meet the needs of our residents, help move agricultural goods to the marketplace, and allow our businesses to compete internationally. In communities and rural areas throughout our state, a reliable transit system is a crucial link connecting people to their doctors, family, and jobs.
Because of the great distances we travel in South Dakota, we are extremely
dependent on surface transportation for economic development and daily
life. Without adequate roads and infrastructure, the economy and residents
of South Dakota will suffer. I support full and adequate funding for highway
and transit projects, as well as the infrastructure and support systems
these modes of transportation depend on. As a member of the Senate Appropriations
Committee, I will continue to make certain South Dakota receives its fair
share of funding for crucial infrastructure projects.