should fix state budget problems via transportation grants, spur
economic growth and boost consumer spending, says the National League
of Cities (NLC), which proposed its own economic plan Jan. 21.
$50 billion in unrestricted state grants, many covering transportation
issues, to assist states. NLC cited The National Governor’s Association
estimates that states face $67 billion in budgetary shortfalls in
the $50 billion would be $5 billion to states for highway and transportation
funds; and $10 billion to address unmet homeland security and infrastructure
needs such as airport and port security, bioterrorism, and security
at chemical and nuclear facilities.
NLC also proposes
a one-time, one-year infusion of federal aid that would provide
$2.5 billion for transportation projects that create jobs; $7 billion
for first responder grants; $5 billion to rehabilitate, replace
and maintain the nation’s aging water infrastructure network; and
$3 billion in local law enforcement grants to hire an additional
30,000 officers, provide training and equipment procurement.
The group said
the plan would also reduce homelessness, increase unemployment benefits
and affordable housing and provide more money to fund schools.