Governor’s Task Force on Transportation Infrastructure Investment
WHEREAS, the improved condition and increased capacity of the State of Louisiana’s transportation infrastructure are vital for the safety, prosperity, and quality of life of its citizens, for the effective transaction of commerce, and for attracting, retaining, and expanding businesses and growing the economy;
WHEREAS, major metropolitan areas of the State of Louisiana currently rank among the worst in the nation for traffic congestion and road conditions, which annually costs citizens and businesses significant amounts of time through delay and money through lost productivity and vehicle repair;
WHEREAS, the State of Louisiana has a $12.7 billion backlog in highway and bridge maintenance and construction needs;
WHEREAS, Louisiana’s Statewide Transportation Plan additionally identifies $10.5 billion in Priorities A and B of new major transportation improvements or “megaprojects” needed throughout the state;
WHEREAS, in recent years, the cost of construction has constantly increased, while inflation has eroded the value of dollars dedicated to transportation;
WHEREAS, over many years, money from the state’s Transportation Trust Fund dedicated to transportation infrastructure has been further reduced by the transfer of these funds for other governmental purposes related to transportation;
WHEREAS, the state has had to rely on competitive funding at the federal level of limited one time funding to invest in infrastructure;
WHEREAS, during his first year in office, the Governor has worked with the legislature through the state operating and capital outlay budgets to take meaningful steps to restore trust in the Transportation Trust Fund, in spite of unprecedented fiscal instability and historic deficits; and
WHEREAS, it is in the best interests of the citizens of the State of Louisiana to see expedited and vastly increased action and resources devoted to maintaining existing transportation infrastructure, specifically bridges, and constructing new projects that reduce congestion, improve safety and quality of life, expand economic opportunity, and provide effective mobility through a variety of multimodal transportation options.
NOW THEREFORE, I, JOHN BEL EDWARDS, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The Governor’s Task Force on Transportation Infrastructure Investment (hereafter “Task Force”) is established within the executive department, Office of the Governor.
SECTION 2: The duties of the Task Force shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Research, identify, and make specific actionable recommendations for achieving sufficient increased levels of recurring funding to address the transportation backlog in highway and bridge maintenance needs in Louisiana; and
- Research, identify, and make specific actionable recommendations for legislation to be introduced in 2017 to fund a robust, multimodal construction program to address immediate needs to preserve the state’s investments in infrastructure and build “megaprojects” included in the Louisiana Statewide Transportation Plan, Priority A and Priority B.
SECTION 3: On or before January 1, 2017, the Task Force shall submit to the Governor a report regarding the issues set forth in Section 2 of this Order.
SECTION 4: The Task Force shall be comprised of a maximum of eighteen (18) members who, unless otherwise specified, shall be designated by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. Ex officio members shall not be counted for purposes of a quorum.
- The president of the Louisiana Public Affairs Research Council;
- A business person designated by Blueprint Louisiana;
- Three business representatives designated by the state’s eight regional economic development organizations;
- A business person designated by the Louisiana Chemical Association;
- A transportation industry representative recommended by the Louisiana Association of General Contractors;
- Two at-large members appointed by the Governor;
- The executive director of the Louisiana Municipal Association;
- The executive director of the Police Jury Association of Louisiana;
- The chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works or his designee;
- The chairman of the Senate Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works or his designee;
- The Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives, or his designee;
- The President of the Louisiana Senate or his designee;
- The secretary of the Department of Transportation and Development;
- The commissioner of the Division of Administration, or the commissioner’s designee, as an ex officio member;
- The secretary of the Department of Revenue, or the secretary’s designee, as an ex officio member.
SECTION 5: There shall be two co-chairs of the Task Force. One will be the secretary of the Department of Transportation and Development and the other shall be appointed by the Governor. All other officers, if any, shall be elected by the members of the Task Force.
SECTION 6: The Task Force shall meet at regularly scheduled intervals and at the call of the co-chairs. The Task Force is encouraged to conduct outreach regionally and by industry as necessary.
SECTION 7: Task Force members shall not receive additional compensation or a per diem from the Office of the Governor for serving on the Task Force.
Task Force members who are an employee or an elected public official of the State of Louisiana or a political subdivision of the State of Louisiana may seek reimbursement of travel expenses, in accordance with PPM 49, from their employing and/or elected department, agency and/or office.
Task Force members who are also a member of the Louisiana Legislature may seek a per diem from the Louisiana State Senate or House of Representatives, as appropriate, for their attendance.
SECTION 8: Support staff, facilities and resources for the Task Force shall be provided by the Office of the Governor and the Department of Transportation and Development.
SECTION 9: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the state of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Task Force in implementing the provisions of this Order.
SECTION 10: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until the Task Force has completed the tasks identified in Sections 2 and 3 of this Order, unless amended, modified, terminated or rescinded by the Governor.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 7th day of June, 2016.
John Bel Edwards
Secretary of State