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Political officials stress role in US transportation system

Leaders from National associations representing state and local governments have stressed the importance of state and local roles in the future of the surface transportation system to the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission.

The meeting June 20 was composed of representatives from the National Governors Association (NGA), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), National Association of Counties (NACo), Conference of Mayors (USCM), National League of Cities (NLC), Council of State Governments (CSG), and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Collectively, they represent the nation's state and local elected officials who own and operate virtually all of the nation's surface transportation infrastructure and systems.

The groups discussed policy and financing options for the future of the surface transportation system in the United States. They joined together to offer comments prior to the commission's submission of their recommendations to Congress, which are due December 2007.

Topics covered during the session included enhancing the local-state-federal partnership; encouraging innovative state and local transportation policy and finance; and explaining the complexities of state and local revenue and surface transportation finance.

Representatives included: Raymond C Scheppach, NGA executive director; Sen Bruce Starr, (R-OR) representing NCSL; Colleen Landkamer, NACo President, Commissioner, Blue Earth County, MN; Mayor R T Rybak, Minneapolis, MN, representing USCM; Council Member Laura Padgett, Wilmington, NC, representing NLC; Rep Sherman Packard (R-NH), representing CSG; and Michael L Edwards, deputy director, the Virginia Association of Counties, representing the International City/County Management Association.

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