ANNAPOLIS, MD (STL.News) Governor Larry Hogan today testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works Hearing on the critical importance of infrastructure to America’s ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As chairman of the National Governors Association, the governor led a national, year-long initiative—“Infrastructure: Foundation for Success”—focused on fixing America’s crumbling infrastructure.
Following is Governor Hogan’s testimony, as prepared for delivery:
Good morning Chairman Carper, Ranking Member Capito, Senator Cardin, and members of the committee. It’s good to be with my colleague and friend Governor Whitmer this morning.
As chairman of the National Governors Association, pre-COVID I launched a national infrastructure initiative focused on repairing and modernizing our infrastructure in ways that will drive long-term economic growth while addressing short-term recovery needs and encourage innovation and efficient approaches to delivering projects that build the transportation networks of the future.
For this national initiative, we brought together thought leaders from all levels of government, business, labor, and academia. To get their input, we held a series of stakeholder summits across the country and the world to tackle an issue that is so fundamental to our economy, our environment, and our way of life.
We released a final report with a series of recommendations, including a number related to the reauthorization of a long-term federal surface transportation bill. The nation’s governors recommend that states should be granted maximum flexibility to relieve congestion and to invest in adaptable and innovative solutions with more reliability and certainty of formula funding.
To reduce program burdens and improve project delivery, we recommended that the one federal decision policy should be codified for highway projects to establish a 2-year goal for completion of environmental reviews and a 90-day timeline for related project authorizations.
And we recommended that Congress make investments in resiliency and security and to allow us to harness the full potential of financing and leveraging private sector investment, which has been critical to our success in the State of Maryland, where we have taken a balanced, all-inclusive approach to infrastructure.
We are moving forward on nearly all of the highest priority transportation projects in every single jurisdiction all across our state and investing far more in roads and transit than any other administration in Maryland history. We have over 800 projects totaling $9 billion in roads, bridges, and tunnels currently under construction.
We have improved more than 85% of our entire state highway system and invested $150 million in innovative traffic congestion solutions, smart technology, and cutting-edge smart signalization networks, advanced the Purple Line from Prince George’s County to Montgomery County in the Washington capital region, which is a partnership between the federal, state, and local governments, and the private sector, which is the largest P3 transit project under construction in North America.
And just last week, we announced the procurement of a developer for the largest P3 highway project in the world to relieve traffic congestion on I-270 and I-495, the Capital Beltway, and to finally build a new American Legion Bridge across the Potomac River.
My fellow governors all across America have similar success stories to share. In states throughout the nation, they are upgrading roads, bridges, and mass transit, and they’re improving airports and ports, fixing aging water systems, and expanding rural and urban broadband.
Investing in infrastructure is more important than ever as we work to bring the pandemic to an end, to get more people back to work, and to build a sustainable economic recovery.
As I recently said to President Biden when I was with him in the Oval Office, the governors urge that any major infrastructure effort be bipartisan. Democrats and Republicans, business and labor leaders, all of us believe that infrastructure should be a top national priority.
Governors on both sides of the aisle have shown that there are more than enough common sense ideas where we can find bipartisan support, and we stand ready to work with you in this effort. Together, we can rebuild America’s infrastructure so that it will once again serve as an example for the rest of the world.
We hope that this hearing will serve as a springboard for real progress, and I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, and all of the members of the committee for the opportunity to be here today.