By State Representative Randy Fischer
House District 53
I am a civil engineer by training, but it doesn’t take an engineer to tell you that you that many of Colorado’s roads are rutted and bridges are crumbling. And you don’t need to read the business pages to know that we are suffering terrible job losses. I know folks who have lost their jobs recently and I bet you do, too. These are tough times for most folks in Northern Colorado.
Lawmakers like me don’t get to just complain or shake our heads when the going gets tough — we have to face the problems head-on and come up with solutions. I refuse to wait around until a bridge crashes down — I want action now. I refuse to bemoan the unemployment rate and not do what I can to create jobs.
These are responsibilities I take very seriously as a lawmaker.
I am proud to have supported the FASTER Jobs Bill. As it is phased into effect, it will kick-start dozens of road projects that have been waiting to be funded for far too long, repaving and repairing roads and rebuilding the 126 most dangerous bridges in Colorado.
The FASTER Jobs Bill is All About Jobs:
- FASTER Jobs will generate approximately $250 million annually for road and bridge improvements to be used to employ Coloradans, giving them money to spend.
- FASTER Jobs will save/create between 10,000 and 30,000 good jobs statewide.
- At least 80 percent of the labor force employed on FASTER projects must be Colorado workers.
The FASTER Jobs Bill is About Safety:
- FASTER Jobs will repair and rebuild our most dangerous bridges and crumbling roads.
- The first $100 million goes to bridges before roads. $50 million of that will be used to leverage approximately $400 million more for the most urgent bridge projects.
We All Pitch In For Safety and Jobs:
- Rental car companies will pay a $2 daily car rental fee.
- Most drivers will pay $30-$40 more a year on their registration — less than a dollar a week.
- The late fee is stiff — $25 a month for each month you are late up to a cap of $100.
- Because vehicle weight affects road deterioration, heavier trucks and SUVs pay more.
- The Bridge Safety Fee is phased in over two years; for the first year, it’s one-half the full amount.
What’s required now is a new era of responsibility in Colorado — a recognition that we have duties to ourselves, to our communities, and to Colorado. The best way to get us back on the road toward a strong economy is to get our workers working again and to keep our families safe.