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THU | Jan. 29
120th Annual Inaugural Dinner
THU | Feb. 5
Transportation & Goods Movement Committee Meeting
TUE | Feb. 10
L.A. Export Series: Session 3
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FRI | Feb. 13
Health Care Committee Meeting
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is
the voice of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes
a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region.
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For those who have been looking to the pending federal economic stimulus package to provide significant funding for transportation infrastructure, it is likely you will be disappointed. Only 5 percent of the $825 billion stimulus package is directed at bringing our highways, bridges and mass transit systems into the 21st century.
The plan being worked out by the House and Senate would include approximately $43 billion for infrastructure projects like roads, highways, bridges and public transit. These dollars are spread out among all 50 states with California set to receive just over $4 billion. That is not chump change, but it falls far short of earlier expectations when rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure appeared to be the focus of the stimulus package. And it is much less than the $40 billion in funding for transportation projects that Los Angeles County voters approved in November.
Our state is the most gridlocked region in the nation with an estimated
$150 billion in unfunded infrastructure investment. It will cost more than
$1 trillion to get the nation’s infrastructure to where it needs to be for the 21st century. Those are staggering numbers with growing implications for the long-term health of our economy and quality of life.
That’s why this massive economic stimulus package is a perfect opportunity to make a significant investment. These projects create short-term jobs in the transportation and construction industries with economic ripple effects throughout the economy. The long-term benefits are even more substantial. A revitalized infrastructure will create millions of logistics jobs nationwide, improve our environment and increase mobility for all Americans.
Now is the time to seize this critical opportunity to fund our long-overdue transportation needs. We have three recommendations: First, double the amount of transportation investment in the federal stimulus package to $90 billion. Second, extend the minimum start time for projects eligible for federal funding to 180 days. And third, streamline the construction regulations governing transportation projects so that the money that is allocated can be put to use as soon as possible.
President Obama and Congress should not let this moment pass us by. Let us invest in America’s future today.
And that's The Business Perspective.
Gary L. Toebben
President & CEO
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
The Business Perspective is a weekly opinion piece by Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, produced with the input of Samuel Garrison, Vice President of Public Policy.
Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
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