A truck driver hauling freight from Point A to Point B must put the semitrailer into gear and put his right foot on the accelerator to accomplish this task. Gov. Mike Pence and state highway officials need to do likewise to figure out how to fund needed projects.
They’re faced with serious challenges that will make funding highway repairs and improvements more difficult. The state’s 18-cents-per-gallon gas tax doesn’t generate the revenue it used to because vehicles have become more fuel-efficient. The federal Highway Trust Fund is strapped for cash, meaning money that states receive for road projects is unpredictable. With the trust facing bankruptcy, Congress provided a short-term solution with an infusion of $11 billion into the fund.
That averted drastic cuts this summer, but it didn’t solve the problem. Congress needs to get serious about long-term solutions for funding the trust fund.