Update on our trip to Little Rock to address the Transportation Committee. I heard from a couple of our contacts in LR and this is what I found out:
The sort of testimony we want to present needs to wait until after mid-April during the Interim. During the Regular Session the Committee will only hear testimony about the bills before the committee. We will have help getting time before the committee to make our presentation. We will need to get everyone who wants to go to meet and discuss exactly what we want to present to the Transportation Committee.
I propose we ask for 15% of highway money go to mass transit and rail. I have said we should get 9% but the only way to get that is to ask for fifteen. And so it goes. The news from Ohio RE: the train derailment is bad but train derailments happen several hundred times a year. The freight line railroad companies don’t hire enough workers on purpose. That’s why they won’t let workers off for sick leave. These same companies won’t repair tracks either. Arkansas has a chance to lead the nation in rebuilding and refurbishing our railway network.
We want a four lane highway all the way to XNA. Then we can have an airport shuttle bus.
Let’s go all in and ask for a High Speed Passenger Rail from NWA to Little Rock and then on to Memphis.
I want to thank State Rep David Whitaker and State Rep Steve Unger for responding to my request for information and assistance. I’m looking forward to going after mid April.
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