A representative from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told a group of Chandler business people Wednesday that there finally seems to be some traction in Congress to approve new legislation to finance highways.
A letter was passed on to Congress by the national chamber Wednesday asking for the transit bill to be passed by March, said Janet Kavinoky, executive director of transportation and infrastructure for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She was speaking at a Chandler Chamber of Commerce Economic Update Forum at Ocotillo Golf Resort.
She said more than 1,000 organizations signed the letter urging that legislation be passed quickly.
And she said President Barack Obama's comments during his State of the Union address regarding "speeding up transportation projects" bolsters the chance legislation will pass soon.
Lacking the new legislation, she said Arizona could see a potential loss of 35 percent of its federal funding for highways at a time when only maintenance is being done.
She said the House will release a 700-page piece of legislation on transportation on Friday. The Senate has already seen partial legislation presented with more soon to come.
"There is clear evidence from both sides of the aisle that there is belief we should invest in infrastructure," said Kavinoky.
On other topics, she said the national chamber continues to encourage controlling government spending while getting government out of the way of business growth.
She predicted that 2012 wouldn't be a year of groundbreaking legislation from Washington due to the bipartisan politics that currently stand. She encouraged Americans to be active in telling their representatives in Washington what is really important to them because there is likely to be little movement without that pressure from the public.