Bill Text: AZ SCM1006 | 2010 | Forty-ninth Legislature 2nd Regular | Introduced
Arizona Senate Memorial 1006 (Prior Session Legislation)
Bill Title: States; withdrawal; federal highway system [Track Bill]
Status: 2010-02-04 - Referred to Senate NRIPD Committee [SCM1006 Detail]
REFERENCE TITLE: states; withdrawal; federal highway system
State of Arizona
Second Regular Session
Senators Gould: Allen S, Harper, Nelson
A CONCURRENT MEMORIAL
urging the united states congress to enact legislation allowing states to opt out of the federal highway transportation system.
(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)
To the Congress of the United States of America:
Your memorialist respectfully represents:
Whereas, the interstate highway system was begun in 1956 with the goal of simplifying interstate travel through the construction of a federal road system. To finance this project, a federal fuel tax was imposed whereby states pay into the Highway User Fund with monies returned to the states based on complex distribution formulas. Although the interstate project was completed in the early 1980s, the fuel tax remains in place. Under this antiquated and regressive system, many states are shortchanged while others receive far more than they put into the fund; and
Whereas, the current system has created "donee" and "donor" states in which some states, primarily southern and midwestern states, subsidize the road needs of their more affluent northern and mountain western neighbors. While states were initially willing to contribute more than their share to the federal highway system to achieve a common nationwide goal — the interstate system — the current program pits donee states against donor states and has created a vast spoils system in which less than two-thirds of the monies collected goes to transportation-related projects. Instead, much of the highway trust fund monies go to congressionally earmarked projects that benefit only local constituencies; and
Whereas, traffic on the federal highway system has more than doubled in the past twenty years, yet the capacity of the system has remained virtually unchanged. Federal highway monies go primarily for maintenance of existing roads, not construction of new roads, resulting in billions of wasted dollars each year due to congestion in some of the most populated areas of the country; and
Whereas, today's surface transportation problems are largely local and regional in nature, and state and local governments are outspending the federal government on transportation spending by a ratio of two to one. Transportation needs are better able to be addressed and met at the local and regional levels instead of the federal level; and
Whereas, under the current system, the federal government is able to force unwanted mandates on states by threatening to withhold transportation monies unless states comply; and
Whereas, the federal highway system is nearly bankrupt and monies from the program will diminish dramatically in the future; and
Whereas, now is the time to take steps to modify the current failed system despite resistance from congressional members who represent "winner" states. Congress should consider ending the federal highway program and turning back to the states the responsibility and right to collect the fuel tax. In the alternative, Congress could maintain the program in its current form but establish a mechanism that would allow individual states to opt out of the program and replace the federal taxes with their own levies.
Wherefore your memorialist, the Senate of the State of Arizona, the House of Representatives concurring, prays:
1. That the United States Congress enact legislation that either ends the current federal highway program or allows states to opt out of the program and maintain their own roads.
2. That the Secretary of State of the State of Arizona transmit copies of this Memorial to the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and each Member of Congress from the State of Arizona.