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SOURCE:  Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

mcconell

Senate’s Long-Term Highway Bill is Good News for Kentucky

Op-ed By:  Senator Mitch McConnell

August 11, 2015

While Kentucky has a strong network of interstates, highways and parkways, it’s obvious to anyone who has driven in the Commonwealth lately that many important transportation infrastructure projects are in urgent need of repair. This is bad news for the millions of Kentuckians who use our roads and bridges every day.

The situation is dire. More than one out of four bridges serving Kentucky are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The rate of congestion on our state’s roads outpaces the average. And the deteriorating condition of our roads costs drivers an additional $941 million a year—which comes out to $315 per motorist.

All of which is why I recently negotiated a bill that led to the passage of the DRIVE Act in the U.S. Senate—a long-term highway authorization bill that would allow Kentucky and other states to plan highway and bridge projects with certainty. The bill would provide three years of guaranteed funding for interstate highway projects without raising taxes or adding to the deficit.

The bill’s Senate passage is a win for Kentucky drivers and is just the latest example of how a new Republican majority has gotten the Senate back to work and functioning for the American people. The House of Representatives is now developing similar legislation so both chambers can agree on a final, long-term bill to send to the president’s desk.

For too long, Congress has failed to fund our nation’s highways with long-term goals in mind, but instead has passed only short-term funding bills. Major infrastructure projects like roads and bridges, however, take years to build. Without the certainty of long-term legislation, states find it difficult to plan for and undertake these kinds of projects.

The long-term highway bill known as the DRIVE Act would give state and local governments the certainty and stability they need to plan long-term road and bridge projects. It will provide state and local governments with more flexibility in how they spend the federal transportation funds they receive.

It would also streamline regulations, advance research and innovation in transportation, modernize infrastructure and transportation systems, and enforce new accountability measures so Kentuckians can see how their tax money is spent.

Funding provided by this bill would go toward a number of important highway projects in Kentucky that would be prioritized by the state.

An enacted long-term highway bill—like the DRIVE Act—would also support jobs in Kentucky and across the nation as these and other important infrastructure projects get underway.

And importantly, the DRIVE Act would do all of this without raising the federal gasoline tax, a tax that hits working families particularly hard. This bill won’t raise a penny in new taxes, nor increase the deficit.

I’m pleased I was able to get this important bill passed in the Senate and I look forward to the House acting soon on similar legislation that will benefit Kentucky and the nation. With a long-term highway bill like the DRIVE Act signed into law, we can rebuild our infrastructure, ease growing congestion, and improve traffic safety for Kentuckians. We can support jobs and boost the economy. And we can keep Kentuckians moving safely and efficiently over our state’s roads and bridges.

PHOTO(s) OF THE DAY SOURCE: 

Department of Defense /Defense News Lead Photo

150811-N-XX566-016 PACIFIC OCEAN  (Aug. 11, 2015) - USS Chung Hoon (DDG 93), USS Moble Bay (CG 53) and USS Russel (DDG 59) follow USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during a show of force transit. Sailors from the John C. Stennis Strike Group are undergoing Composite Training Unit Exercise and Joint Task Force Exercise (COMPTUEX/JTFEX), the final step in certifying to deploy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andre T. Richard / Released)

150811-N-XX566-016 PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 11, 2015) – USS Chung Hoon (DDG 93), USS Moble Bay (CG 53) and USS Russel (DDG 59) follow USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during a show of force transit. Sailors from the John C. Stennis Strike Group are undergoing Composite Training Unit Exercise and Joint Task Force Exercise (COMPTUEX/JTFEX), the final step in certifying to deploy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andre T. Richard / Released)

150807-N-XX566-020  PACIFIC OCEAN  (Aug. 7, 2015) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuel) Airman Drew Lewis, from Long Beach, Calif., and Aviation Boatswain's Mates (Fuel) 3rd Class Carl Johnson, from Copan, Okla., and Charles Iheanacho, from Houston, set pressure levels for fuel stripping tanks aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group is undergoing a composite training unit exercise and joint task force exercise, the final step in certifying to deploy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andre T. Richard/Released)

150807-N-XX566-020
PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 7, 2015) Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel) Airman Drew Lewis, from Long Beach, Calif., and Aviation Boatswain’s Mates (Fuel) 3rd Class Carl Johnson, from Copan, Okla., and Charles Iheanacho, from Houston, set pressure levels for fuel stripping tanks aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group is undergoing a composite training unit exercise and joint task force exercise, the final step in certifying to deploy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andre T. Richard/Released)

150807-N-FN215-085 SURABAYA, Indonesia (Aug. 7, 2015) Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Kevin Diebold,  right, assigned to Coastal Riverine Squadron (CRS) 3, communicates with an Indonesian “Kopaska” Naval Special Forces team leader while practicing interdiction techniques during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2015. In its 21st year, CARAT is an annual, bilateral exercise series with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of nine partner nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Scott/Released)

150807-N-FN215-085
SURABAYA, Indonesia (Aug. 7, 2015) Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Kevin Diebold, right, assigned to Coastal Riverine Squadron (CRS) 3, communicates with an Indonesian “Kopaska” Naval Special Forces team leader while practicing interdiction techniques during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2015. In its 21st year, CARAT is an annual, bilateral exercise series with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of nine partner nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Scott/Released)

A CH-47 Chinook helicopter and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter assigned to 101st Combat Aviation Brigade prepare to land at Tactical Base Gamberi during a visit from senior Afghan National Army and Resolute Support leaders July 30, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Jarrod Morris, TAAC-E Public Affairs)

A CH-47 Chinook helicopter and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter assigned to 101st Combat Aviation Brigade prepare to land at Tactical Base Gamberi during a visit from senior Afghan National Army and Resolute Support leaders July 30, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Jarrod Morris, TAAC-E Public Affairs)

SOURCE:  METRO LOUISVILLE

Sadiqa Reynolds Named First Woman

Leader of Louisville Urban League

The Louisville Urban League today selected Sadiqa Reynolds, current Louisville Metro Government Chief of Community Building, as its new President – the first woman selected for the position in the history of the organization.

“Sadiqa has been a passionate and energetic leader, overseeing such diverse departments as our parks, Zoo and libraries, our Public Health Department, Community Services, Human Relations Commission, Animal Services and helping to create our Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods,” said Mayor Greg Fischer.  “While I am sad to lose her, I am thrilled that the Urban League is gaining an incredible leader to help advance their important mission and I look forward to working with her in her new role.”

“Today is bittersweet for me,” Reynolds said.  “While this new position is truly a dream come true, I am very grateful for the opportunities that Mayor Fischer has given me in his administration.  I care deeply about the goals that Mayor Fischer has put in place for this city, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to support and represent the community in my new role.”  

Reynolds will begin in her new position on October 1.  The Mayor’s Office will announce who will take over her responsibilities in the coming weeks.

Prior to her current position, Sadiqa served as District Judge for the 30th Judicial Court.  She was also the first African-American woman to clerk for the Kentucky Supreme Court.  She has served as the Inspector General for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, an Assistant Director of the Division of Public Works and Assets with Louisville Metro Government as well as Chief of Staff of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, a Guardian Ad Litem representing abused, neglected and dependent children and a Public Defender.  Sadiqa earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Louisville and her law degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law. 

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