April 28, 2015
By Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – Hundreds of LIUNA leaders from across the nation descended on Washington in a bipartisan push for members to work together on key priorities. Chief among them: investing in transportation infrastructure, fixing Obamacare, and unlocking good energy jobs.
"To get anything done, both Republicans and Democrats must act,” LIUNA General President Terry O'Sullivan said in a statement. “LIUNA has always been a non-partisan union and that's why hundreds of our leaders will meet with members of both parties to inform them about our job-creating priorities and to build stronger relationships.”
At the top of LIUNA's agenda is passing a full-investment, long-term Highway Bill that creates jobs fixing our nation's roads, bridges and transit systems before the current Highway Trust Fund authorization soon expires on May 31. A long-term Highway Bill can support hundreds of thousands of good jobs doing needed work. Along with all other Americans, LIUNA members depend on safe roads and bridges every day.
Poor road conditions, such as potholes, contribute to a third of all traffic fatalities, resulting in more than 10,000 lives lost each year. The average bridge in the U.S. is now 47 years old – dangerously close to the average lifespan of 50 years. Nearly a fourth of our bridges are deficient or obsolete, and the situation will only worsen without action. Congress has dodged making decisions by extending transportation legislation with short-term patches, strangling resources and undermining stability for needed transportation projects. The gas tax, which is the main resource for the Highway Trust Fund, has lost nearly half its value since it was last adjusted 22 years ago.
"It's time to stop sugar-coating the state of our critical transportation infrastructure," O’Sullivan. added. ”It's not only costing jobs and hurting our economy, it's costing lives."