The condition of roads, bridges, schools, water treatment plants, and other physical assets greatly influences the economy’s ability to function and grow. Commerce requires well-maintained roads, railroads, airports, and ports. Growing communities rely on well-functioning water and sewer systems and uncrowded, safe schools. Every state needs infrastructure improvements that have the potential to pay off economically in private investment and job growth — and it’s time for states to make those investments, as we explain in our updated report.
There’s a real unmet infrastructure need across the country, as anyone who drives on roads or flies from airports can see. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives our public infrastructure a D+, or “poor,” rating.
States and local governments — the primary stewards of most of the country’s public capital — may be awaiting a promised federal plan to invest more in public infrastructure. More federal help would be welcome, but the type and amount of assistance they’d get under any new federal initiative remain unclear and President Trump’s infrastructure proposal seems to omit many important areas of need. Simply put, states should take the lead.
States should reject the flawed economic growth strategy of cutting taxes and offering corporate giveaways, and instead identify and make infrastructure investments that provide the foundation for a strong economy. It’s an especially good time for states to make those investments.
Read the full report here.