South Dakota’s wide open spaces mean the nearest hospital or airport can be many miles away. Without question, adequate federal funding and the stability provided by a long-term transportation bill helps to ensure that federally connected highways and bridges are properly maintained and repaired to keep roads safe for South Dakota families and the movement of commercial vehicles. Since being elected to Congress, I have been a strong advocate for infrastructure funding to ensure that South Dakota’s transportation needs are met.
On July 6, 2012, the most recent federal surface transportation reauthorization, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), was signed into law. As someone who supported final passage of this important legislation and worked closely on crafting the Senate-passed bill as a member of both the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, I was again able to protect South Dakota’s overall share of transportation formula funding. This ensures that our state’s percentage of federal funding collected primarily from user fees, such as the gas tax, will not decrease thru September 2014. As MAP-21 is implemented, I will continue to work closely with the South Dakota Department of Transportation and local leaders to ensure that we are doing all we can to address our state’s top transportation needs. This important legislation will help ensure that our economy continues to have a top quality transportation network that supports both South Dakota’s economy and our nation’s overall economic wellbeing.