NLC calls for transportation, security aid to states

| Thursday, January 23, 2003

The nation 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.

NLC supports $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 2003.

Included 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.

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