Legislature(2021 - 2022)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

05/04/2021 01:30 PM Senate TRANSPORTATION

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01:40:24 PM Start
01:41:05 PM SJR14
02:30:07 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
                   JRALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                 
            SENATE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                          
                          May 4, 2021                                                                                           
                           1:40 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Robert Myers, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Mike Shower, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Jesse Kiehl                                                                                                             
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 14                                                                                                  
Urging  the  United  States  Congress   to  reintroduce  and  pass                                                              
legislation  to establish  a national infrastructure  bank  as was                                                              
provided by  H.R. 6422  from the 116th  United States  Congress to                                                              
help finance  urgently needed  infrastructure projects  across the                                                              
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SJR 14                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SUPPORTING NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE BANK                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) BEGICH                                                                                                   
04/14/21       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/14/21       (S)       TRA, L&C                                                                                               
04/29/21       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/29/21       (S)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
05/04/21       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
SENATOR TOM BEGICH                                                                                                              
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SJR 14.                                                                                        
ALPHECCA MUTTARDY, Member                                                                                                       
Advisory Board                                                                                                                  
Coalition for a National Infrastructure Bank                                                                                    
Leesburg, Virginia                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: Invited testifier on SJR 14.                                                                              
JULIE OLSEN, Member                                                                                                             
Advisory Board                                                                                                                  
Coalition for the National Infrastructure Bank (NIB); Owner                                                                     
Office Tech, Inc.,                                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Invited testifier on SJR 14.                                                                              
JAMES MOORE, Board Member                                                                                                       
Alaska Trollers Association                                                                                                     
Sitka, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Invited testifier on SJR 14.                                                                              
STANLEY FORCZEK, Member                                                                                                         
Advisory Board                                                                                                                  
Coalition for National Infrastructure Bank                                                                                      
Williamstown, New Jersey,                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Invited testifier on SJR 14.                                                                              
CHARLES MCKEE, representing self                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on  a matter not related to SJR 14.                                                             
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:40:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  ROBERT  MYERS called  the  Senate  Transportation  Standing                                                            
Committee meeting  to order  at 1:40 p.m.  Present at the  call to                                                              
order  were  Senators  Kiehl,  Shower  and  Chair  Myers.  Senator                                                              
Micciche as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                        
         SJR 14-SUPPORTING NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE BANK                                                                     
1:41:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   MYERS  announced   the  consideration   of  SENATE   JOINT                                                              
RESOLUTION   NO.  14  Urging   the  United   States  Congress   to                                                              
reintroduce  and   pass  legislation   to  establish   a  national                                                              
infrastructure bank  as was provided  by H.R. 6422 from  the 116th                                                              
United   States  Congress   to   help  finance   urgently   needed                                                              
infrastructure projects across the nation.                                                                                      
1:41:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  TOM BEGICH,  Alaska  State Legislature,  Juneau,  Alaska,                                                              
sponsor  of SJR  14,  stated that  SJR  14 requests  Congress  and                                                              
President  Biden  to look  favorably  on establishing  a  National                                                              
Infrastructure  Bank (NIB).  Since  the state  has been  receiving                                                              
more  funds   from  the  federal   government,  Alaska   has  been                                                              
evaluating   its  infrastructure.   He  offered   his  view   that                                                              
establishing  an infrastructure  bank  may be  a more  sustainable                                                              
approach.  He  paraphrased  the   sponsor  statement,  which  read                                                              
[Original punctuation included]:                                                                                                
     It has been  many decades since the U.S.  last undertook                                                                   
     a  nationwide  infrastructure   overhaul.  This  becomes                                                                   
     even more  apparent when  we look  at the current  state                                                                   
     of  our nation's  built environment.  We are  struggling                                                                   
     to put people  in homes, develop public  transportation,                                                                   
     and provide  low-cost, clean energy, and far  too often,                                                                   
     we  are  ill-equipped  to   deal  with  disasters,  both                                                                   
     natural  and  human-generated.  This reality  will  only                                                                   
     get worse with  inaction. Each year we fail  to act, the                                                                   
     cost   of   replacing   our    outdated   infrastructure                                                                   
     Because  of the unique  nature of  our state, Alaska  is                                                                   
     especially   in   need   of  federal   help   with   our                                                                   
     infrastructure  needs.  Thirty-one   communities  across                                                                   
     our   state  lack   centralized   water  or   wastewater                                                                   
     systems.  85% of  our consumer  goods  come through  the                                                                   
     port of  Anchorage, yet it  lacks funding for  essential                                                                   
     upgrades. 570  miles of highway  and 141 of  the bridges                                                                   
     that  connect people,  goods,  and services  across  the                                                                   
     state   are  in  poor,   deteriorating  condition,   and                                                                   
     desperately need  repair. It is  clear that the  time to                                                                   
     take action is now.                                                                                                        
     This  urgent  issue  calls  for  a  national  effort  to                                                                   
     revitalize  our  infrastructure.   President  Biden  has                                                                   
     recently introduced  the American Jobs Plan,  which will                                                                   
     provide   at    least   $2   trillion    in   nationwide                                                                   
     infrastructure  funding. This  is  a solid  step in  the                                                                   
     right  direction, but  we can  do more  to ensure  long-                                                                   
     term  viability and  growth of both  the United  States'                                                                   
     and Alaska's  infrastructure. A national  infrastructure                                                                   
     bank will insure just this.                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH  added that  the National Infrastructure  Bank                                                                   
(NIB) would leverage  resources, so it won't be  necessary to                                                                   
draw on  the treasury to set  up the bank. Former  Presidents                                                                   
George Washington,  James Madison, Abraham  Lincoln, Franklin                                                                   
D.  Roosevelt all  set up  National  Infrastructure Banks  to                                                                   
expand economic opportunity and growth in the country.                                                                          
1:44:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH continued [Original punctuation provided]:                                                                       
     Establishing   a  national   infrastructure  bank   will                                                                   
     provide a  secure fund  for infrastructure projects  and                                                                   
     upgrades for  decades to come. It will  distribute loans                                                                   
     to  fund  infrastructure  projects and  require  no  new                                                                   
     federal  debt. The  concept is  not a new  one. We  have                                                                   
     implemented    national   infrastructure   banks    four                                                                   
     different  times in  our  nation's history.  Each  time,                                                                   
     the  bank  was  a  success,  boosting  the  economy  and                                                                   
     improving    our    infrastructure.   Based    on    the                                                                   
     performances  of these  past banks,  we anticipate  that                                                                   
     its reintroduction  will help grow the  nation's economy                                                                   
     4-5% per year.                                                                                                             
     Infrastructure  is one of the  largest bills  our nation                                                                   
     currently faces.  It is not going to go away  and we are                                                                   
     going  to have  to pay it  eventually, and  there is  no                                                                   
     time it will  be as inexpensive as now. We  ask for your                                                                   
     support   on  this  resolution   to  urge  Congress   to                                                                   
     reestablish a national infrastructure bank.                                                                                
1:45:04 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH stated that his Ted Stevens intern, Connor Owens,                                                                
did most of the work on the bill but he was unable to present                                                                   
SJR 14 today since he had college exams.                                                                                        
He said that a sectional analysis was not required for a                                                                        
1:46:38 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
1:52:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MYERS reconvened the meeting.                                                                                             
SENATOR MICCICHE joined the meeting.                                                                                            
1:52:54 PM                                                                                                                    
ALPHECCA  MUTTARDY,   Member  Advisory  Board,  Coalition   for  a                                                              
National Infrastructure  Bank, Leesburg, Virginia,  speaking as an                                                              
invited testifier  on SJR 14, said  she works as  a macroeconomist                                                              
on  behalf of  the coalition.  She provided  her background,  such                                                              
that she  retired after serving  25 years as a  macroeconomist for                                                              
the International Monetary  Fund. She spoke in support  of SJR 14,                                                              
which would ask  Congress to pass H.R.  6422 to create a  $4 to $5                                                              
trillion National  Infrastructure  Bank to provide  infrastructure                                                              
projects  throughout the  country. The  NIB has  not been  able to                                                              
finance infrastructure  projects through federal, state  and local                                                              
budgets. This  means a considerable  backlog of projects  have not                                                              
been built  or repaired,  she said.  As Senator Begich  mentioned,                                                              
this concept  has been used  many times  in U.S history.  It began                                                              
with  the first  bank of  the U.S.  under  Alexander Hamilton  and                                                              
then-President    George   Washington    and   ended    with   the                                                              
Reconstruction  Finance Corporation  under  President Franklin  D.                                                              
Roosevelt  (FDR). She  surmised  that the  corporation helped  the                                                              
U.S. get out of the Great Depression and win World War II.                                                                      
MS.  MUTTARDY said  this newest  iteration  contemplated how  much                                                              
was  needed  to   fix  all  the  infrastructure   nationwide.  The                                                              
American  Society  of  Civil Engineers  (ASCE)  indicated  in  its                                                              
latest report  card that  the U.S. would  need $6.1  trillion over                                                              
the next ten  years to repair infrastructure or  increase capacity                                                              
to meet  today's needs. Of  that, $3.5  trillion was slated  to be                                                              
financed through  federal, state and local budgets.  However, that                                                              
would   still  leave   at   least   $2.6  trillion   in   unfunded                                                              
infrastructure projects.  This bank would cover all  this unfunded                                                              
amount,  including $1.2  trillion for  surface transportation  and                                                              
$1.1 trillion for road and water infrastructure.                                                                                
1:55:09 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MUTTARDY  said  the proposed  NIB would work  as a  commercial                                                              
bank. It  would be  capitalized by funds  from the private  sector                                                              
to  issue loans  for infrastructure.  She offered  the NIB's  view                                                              
that spending $5  trillion for repairs would  supercharge economic                                                              
growth  and  provide  jobs  for  workers.  In  Alaska,  NIB  could                                                              
finance affordable  housing, water  and sanitation facilities  and                                                              
support  all the Port  of Alaska's  needs. It  could also  provide                                                              
funding for inland  connections from the port to air,  road or the                                                              
[Alaska  Marine  Highway  System  (AMHS)]  as well  as  fund  AMHS                                                              
projects  and railroad  facilities. Further,  this could  reemploy                                                              
workers who  lost their jobs due  to the oil  industry's downturns                                                              
or  the COVID-19  pandemic.  She  pointed  out that  NIB  advisory                                                              
members  gave  similar  testimony   to  the  Nevada  Legislature's                                                              
Transportation  Committees.  Nevada just  passed  a resolution  in                                                              
support of NIB, she said.                                                                                                       
1:56:51 PM                                                                                                                    
JULIE OLSEN,  Member, Advisory Board,  Coalition for  the National                                                              
Infrastructure  Bank (NIB), Owner,  Office Tech, Inc.,  Anchorage,                                                              
Alaska,  stated that  she supports  SJR  14, in  part because  her                                                              
business  relies  on  a  fully functioning  Port  of  Alaska.  She                                                              
explained that  her company receives  regular weekly  shipments of                                                              
equipment  transported  by  Carlile,   a  trucking  and  logistics                                                              
company  that picks  up cargo  from the  port and  delivers it  to                                                              
Railbelt  customers. Or  else  it hauls  freight  to Northern  Air                                                              
Cargo for  shipment to rural  Alaska hubs, including  Bethel, Nome                                                              
and Kotzebue.  This equipment may  be further shipped  to villages                                                              
via small  air carriers. Further,  Carlile delivers cargo  to AMHS                                                              
for transport  to Kodiak. As  previously mentioned, 85  percent of                                                              
consumer  goods  coming to  Alaska  travels  through the  Port  of                                                              
Alaska, serving stores  such as Costco, Target  and Safeway. Every                                                              
business  north  of  Haines  depends on  an  operational  Port  of                                                              
Alaska,  which desperately  needs repairs  and modernization.  She                                                              
related  that the  next  big earthquake  could  destroy the  port,                                                              
which   would  have   disastrous  consequences   to  many   Alaska                                                              
1:58:57 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. OLSEN  reported that the Port  of Alaska estimates  costs from                                                              
billion  to  $1.9  billion  to  modernize  and  repair  the  port.                                                              
Although the  Municipality of Anchorage  owns the port,  the costs                                                              
would  be passed  on  to property  owners  and  to businesses  and                                                              
consumers through  increased tariffs.  The NIB would  offer better                                                              
financing  with flexible  and longer  terms. For  example, if  the                                                              
Port of  Alaska were  to finance  $1 billion,  it would  result in                                                              
debt service  of $70  million per year.  However, with  NIB's more                                                              
flexible rates  and terms, that  debt service would be  reduced by                                                              
half, making the  project more affordable. She  explained that NIB                                                              
would thoroughly vet  loans to ensure funds would  not be used for                                                              
boondoggles  or   unsound  ventures.   Its  process   would  force                                                              
government entities  applying for  loans to fully  assess projects                                                              
to figure  out whether  the infrastructure  made financial  sense.                                                              
It would make goods coming into Alaska far more affordable.                                                                     
2:00:46 PM                                                                                                                    
JAMES  MOORE, Board  Member, Alaska  Trollers Association,  Sitka,                                                              
Alaska, speaking  as an invited  testifier on SJR 14,  stated that                                                              
he has commercially  fished for over  50 years. He also  serves on                                                              
the Northern  Southeast Regional  Aquaculture Association  (NSRAA)                                                              
and as a board  member of Armstrong-Keta, Inc. He  stated that NIB                                                              
reminded  him of Alaska's  Department of  Commerce, Community  and                                                              
Economic  Development's (DCCED)  loan program  that offers  lower-                                                              
interest  loans  to  commercial  fishermen. He  said  these  loans                                                              
allow  them  to  purchase vessels,  which  is  the  infrastructure                                                              
necessary for commercial fishing.                                                                                               
MR.  MOORE  stated  that  historically   he  found  the  four  NIB                                                              
iterations  valuable  to  consider.  He  quoted  remarks  made  by                                                              
Abraham Lincoln in  1843 when policies pertaining  to banking were                                                              
being developed:  "Upon the  question of  the expediency,  we only                                                              
ask  you  to  examine  the  history   of  the  times,  during  the                                                              
existence  of the  two Banks,  and  compare those  times with  the                                                              
miserable present."                                                                                                             
2:03:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MOORE highlighted  other instances  of government  financing,                                                              
including  that then  President  Lincoln could  finance the  Civil                                                              
War  efforts and  the  transcontinental  railroad  by issuing  the                                                              
Lincoln  Greenback Treasury  notes. These  projects energized  the                                                              
nation  and caused  scientific discoveries  to  blossom. In  1932,                                                              
FDR was able to  pull the country back from the  brink of disaster                                                              
by creating the  Reconstruction Finance Corporation,  a government                                                              
corporation  that financed  state  and local  government  projects                                                              
and  made loans  to banks,  railroads,  mortgage associations  and                                                              
other businesses.  Through his  policies, FDR  restored hope  to a                                                              
discouraged  population and  put U.S.  citizens back  to work.  He                                                              
touched on the  Tennessee Valley Authority  rural electrification,                                                              
another  corporation  transforming  America.  He surmised  that  a                                                              
fifth NIB iteration  happened before the American  Revolution when                                                              
the Massachusetts  Bay Colony  created its  currency: the  oak and                                                              
pine tree shillings.  Entrepreneurs could obtain  bank funding for                                                              
projects, such  as the highly  successful Sargents  Ironworks. The                                                              
federal  credit extended  through national  banking empowered  the                                                              
economic engine,  which was  not the money  itself, but  the loans                                                              
tapped into the creative potential of the people.                                                                               
MR.  MOORE stated  that he  supported  reinstituting the  American                                                              
physical economy. He asked members to move SJR 14 forward.                                                                      
2:09:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL asked  Ms.  Muttardy to  describe  how the  funding                                                              
process for  the $4  trillion bank will  not adversely  impact the                                                              
national debt.                                                                                                                  
2:10:04 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MUTTARDY  explained that a  lending bank would  work similarly                                                              
as a  commercial bank by  taking in deposits  and lending  out for                                                              
infrastructure  projects. Instead of  using government  funding to                                                              
capitalize  the   NIB,  the  bank  would  receive   treasuries  by                                                              
offering  the  private   sector  preferred  bank   stock  plus  an                                                              
enticement  of  a two  percent  premium  above the  earnings.  She                                                              
stated  that the  two  percent would  initially  be considered  as                                                              
mandatory  spending   for  budget   purposes.  Still,   NIB  would                                                              
reimburse  it as  an  annual dividend  derived  from the  interest                                                              
earnings on the  loan. Since NIB was budget neutral,  it would not                                                              
require any new  taxes or create any new debt with  respect to the                                                              
2:11:10 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MUTTARDY explained  that the bank would give out  loans in the                                                              
same manner  as a  commercial bank.  The bank  would consider  the                                                              
loan an  asset and  create an offsetting  deposit as  a liability,                                                              
which creates money.  She acknowledged that there  was a secondary                                                              
process related  to clearing  checks, but  the bank would  receive                                                              
repayments for  its loans.  NIB would keep  interest rates  low by                                                              
using  the  Treasury  bond  rate.  She  stated  that  spending  $5                                                              
trillion  and creating  25  million  jobs would  also  supercharge                                                              
growth rates. For  example, after the stock market  crash of 1929,                                                              
the  creation of  the [Reconstruction  Finance Corporation  (RFC)]                                                              
resulted  in  increased growth  rates  of  5.5 percent.  She  said                                                              
computer models  could replicate this effect. Higher  growth rates                                                              
would  result in more  tax receipts  to federal,  state and  local                                                              
coffers, allowing them  to repay the loans even if  user fees were                                                              
not associated with the loans.                                                                                                  
2:13:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SHOWER  cautioned that  if  an earthquake  destroyed  the                                                              
Port of Alaska, it would have dire results.                                                                                     
He  asked who  decides  whether  to fund  project  loans, such  as                                                              
financing  a  natural  gas  line.  He  pointed  out  that  China's                                                              
expansion  was rapid,  but it  was now  experiencing the  downside                                                              
because China's economy was overextended.                                                                                       
2:14:32 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MUTTARDY stated  the intention  was to  cover financing  gaps                                                              
for  classic  infrastructure  that ACPE  already  identified.  She                                                              
said H.R.  6422 defines  infrastructure to  include items  such as                                                              
roads,  bridges,  community  development   projects,  energy,  and                                                              
energy  structures.  Within the  mix,  states could  request  help                                                              
with their needs.  Within the mix, states could  request help with                                                              
their  needs. For  example, Alaska  would have  the discretion  to                                                              
request  loans  for  its  ferry   system,  fund  upgrades  to  280                                                              
airports  with  gravel  runways,   and  supply  broadband  to  its                                                              
2:15:47 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MUTTARDY acknowledged  that  one  might solely  view  China's                                                              
rapid  escalation of  building infrastructure  facilities from  an                                                              
economic perspective,  but these investments were  strategic ones.                                                              
For example,  within the last ten  years China built  27,000 miles                                                              
of  highspeed rail  with its  Belt  and Road  Initiative (BRI)  to                                                              
create economic  connections for  trade with other  countries. NIB                                                              
would  like  to   build  infrastructure  to   accelerate  economic                                                              
development.   Further,  states  could   work  together   to  plan                                                              
infrastructure  to suit their  population or economic  development                                                              
needs.  For   example,  high-speed   rail  could  be   built  from                                                              
Birmingham,  Alabama   to  Raleigh,  North  Carolina   to  improve                                                              
connectivity  for  their automotive  manufacturing  industry.  The                                                              
best  infrastructure projects  are  ones that  will spur  economic                                                              
growth, she said.                                                                                                               
2:17:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER stated  he has traveled to China  and observed that                                                              
some  cities in  China  were ghost  towns  because  they were  not                                                              
really  needed. He  cautioned members  to  consider potential  NIB                                                              
infrastructure projects carefully.                                                                                              
MS. MUTTARDY agreed that the vetting process was essential.                                                                     
2:18:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE  turned to  the financial  aspect of  funding. He                                                              
recalled  she suggested  paying  a two-percent  premium above  the                                                              
earnings to  entice investment, which  relates to a total  of four                                                              
percent. He asked how the margin would be covered.                                                                              
MS.  MUTTARDY responded  that to  capitalize the  bank, NIB  would                                                              
bring in  funds from the  private sector  so it would  combine the                                                              
two-percent  stream  for the  treasury  with two  percent  derived                                                              
from  the  budget.  This  would  result in  NIB  only  needing  to                                                              
capitalize  at a  rate of $1  of capital  to $10  in loans.  Thus,                                                              
$500  billion would  capitalize $5  trillion in  loans. NIB  would                                                              
pay the  total interest  earnings  to cover its  overhead  and pay                                                              
dividends.  She  stated that  NIB  was  creating a  more  detailed                                                              
2:19:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE  recalled  she  mentioned a  discount  rate  for                                                              
infrastructure   projects.   While   he   understood   the   basic                                                              
mechanics,  he  was unsure  of  the  bank's  margin of  profit  to                                                              
remain functioning.                                                                                                             
MS. MUTTARDY responded  that as a public bank NIB  is a non-profit                                                              
bank.  If any  funds remain  from gross  interest earnings,  after                                                              
paying its  bills, NIB  intends to  place the  funds into  a trust                                                              
fund to award grants to low-income communities.                                                                                 
2:20:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MYERS asked  for a rough definition of  infrastructure since                                                              
the federal definition was very broad and included housing.                                                                     
MS.  MUTTARDY  answered  that  H.R.  6422  defined  infrastructure                                                              
projects  using ASCE's  17 categories,  including roads,  bridges,                                                              
rail,  electric grid,  schools, parks,  and water  infrastructure.                                                              
In   addition,   a   few   categories    were   added,   including                                                              
approximately  seven million affordable  housing units  across the                                                              
country, high-speed  rail, and broadband to  increase connectivity                                                              
and  productivity.  The  Biden   plan  would  provide  traditional                                                              
infrastructure  financing that ASCE  initially estimated  based on                                                              
last  year's  data.  The  bank  would  cover  the  full  suite  of                                                              
traditional and  expanded infrastructure  to complement  the Biden                                                              
2:23:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SHOWER   asked  how  the  approval  process   would  work                                                              
regionally. He  asked whether this  proposal would  guarantee that                                                              
all the funds would not be spent in California or New York.                                                                     
MS. MUTTARDY  responded that  the proposal  used ASCE's  estimates                                                              
for  needed  infrastructure  to   ensure  sufficient  funding  was                                                              
available for all  states. She pointed out that  states would have                                                              
substantial  flexibility,  but  the  $5  trillion  should  provide                                                              
adequate funding for all the needed infrastructure.                                                                             
2:24:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MYERS opened public testimony on SJR 14.                                                                                  
2:25:15 PM                                                                                                                    
STANLEY FORCZEK,  Member, Advisory  Board, Coalition  for National                                                              
Infrastructure  Bank,  Williamstown,   New  Jersey,  spoke  as  an                                                              
invited testifier.  He provided his background, stating  he served                                                              
as an  executive for  Amtrak for  30 years.  He said he  currently                                                              
serves as an  infrastructure expert on the advisory  board for the                                                              
coalition.  He  pointed  out that  the  last  infrastructure  bank                                                              
ended its term  in 1957. Since then,  the country has  not had any                                                              
major  nationwide   infrastructure  proposal,   so  most   of  the                                                              
infrastructure is 65 years or older.                                                                                            
2:26:16 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. FORCZEK  referred to  the U.S.  space program's manned  flight                                                              
to the  moon. In  1962, then  President John  F. Kennedy  told the                                                              
country  that  the   space  mission  to  the  moon   was  for  the                                                              
betterment  of  the  country  and mankind;  however,  he  did  not                                                              
mention  the   cost.  NIB  proposes   that  fixing   the  nation's                                                              
infrastructure,  putting people  back to  work, and  supercharging                                                              
the economy  is for  every citizen's  betterment. As Ms.  Muttardy                                                              
mentioned,  NIB  would  like to  complement  the  administration's                                                              
proposal and provide  an opportunity for those who  want to invest                                                              
in infrastructure. He  said the main point is that  this all needs                                                              
to  be  done. He  stated  the  intention  was  for  NIB to  go  on                                                              
forever. Thus, H.R.  6422 does not have a sunset  clause. He urged                                                              
members to pass SJR 14.                                                                                                         
2:27:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHARLES  MCKEE, representing  self,  Anchorage, Alaska,  testified                                                              
on an issue not related to SJR 14.                                                                                              
2:29:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MYERS,  after first  determining no  one wished  to testify,                                                              
closed public testimony on SJR 14.                                                                                              
[SJR 14 was held in committee.]                                                                                                 
2:30:07 PM                                                                                                                    
There  being no  further business  to come  before the  committee,                                                              
Chair   Myers  adjourned   the   Senate  Transportation   Standing                                                              
Committee meeting at 2:30 p.m.                                                                                                  

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