Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) announced the locations for a series of national field hearings and public forums on pending major surface transportation legislation.
The nationwide meetings with state and local officials and transportation stakeholders will help inform the Committee’s drafting of a long-term reauthorization of the nation’s highway, transit and highway-safety programs. The legislation will help improve our transportation infrastructure and promote job creation in the nation’s hard-hit construction industry.
The Committee will seek input on how to consolidate and improve the performance of programs, cut government red tape and streamline the project delivery process, increase private-sector investment in our infrastructure, identify creative financing alternatives, and other ideas for writing the legislation. The previous multiyear law (SAFETEA- LU) expired in September 2009.
“The best ideas to improve and streamline government programs often come from outside of Washington, and before we draft any legislation these meetings will provide the Committee with valuable insight and information,” Mica said.
Mica, members of the Committee and other lawmakers will participate in the hearings and meetings, which will begin on Feb. 14, 2011, in West Virginia, home state of the Committee’s Ranking Democrat Member Nick Rahall. At least a dozen other sessions across numerous states are currently planned for February 17-25, including a joint House-Senate hearing in Los Angeles in cooperation with Sen. Barbara Boxer, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. (Further details regarding meetings will be announced at a later date.)
The Committee will travel to the following communities to gather information for the transportation reauthorization bill:
Beckley, W.Va.; Charleston, W.Va.; the Philadelphia Metropolitan area; Scranton, Pa.; Rochester, N.Y.; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Ind.; the Chicago Metropolitan area; Vancouver, Wash.; Fresno, Calif.; Los Angeles; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Jonesboro, Ark.; the Memphis Metropolitan area.