Gubernatorial candidates express support for CRISIS priorities to improve Baton Rouge area transportation infrastructure

CRISIS, the Baton Rouge area regional business-led coalition for transportation improvements, today released the replies from the campaigns of the two gubernatorial candidates in the run-off, in response to a CRISIS open letter on November 6 requesting responses in writing to four questions about specific plans to address the Capital Region’s infrastructure needs.

Most notably, both candidates expressed unequivocally positive responses to the first question, which asked the candidates whether they support the priorities previously stated in an Election Platform released by CRISIS earlier in the campaign.  Links to the full response letters appear at the end of this release.

“The transportation infrastructure crisis facing the Baton Rouge area is not just a local issue but one of statewide significance, and we are grateful that both gubernatorial candidates acknowledge that reality and express support for priority action steps important for future economic expansion,” said CRISIS executive director Scott Kirkpatrick.  “Throughout this campaign, CRISIS has called on candidates to offer serious and specific solutions to the capital region traffic crisis, and I would urge area voters to read these written responses by the candidates in order to make an informed judgment before voting on Saturday.”

The CRISIS letter to the candidates requested responses to the following questions:

1.  Do you support the 5 priorities outlined in the CRISIS election platform, and will you commit to working to advance them as Governor?  Please elaborate.

2.  Given the complexities raised through closely analyzing the state’s Transportation Trust Fund, what specific steps will you pursue so that your pledge to “restore trust in the trust fund” is not just a soundbite but a clear and detailed solution?

3.  Maximizing Transportation Trust Fund dollars in itself may be insufficient to making serious headway tackling the state’s $12 billion infrastructure backlog.  What is your targeted amount that you would seek to dedicate toward that effort on an annual basis, and what steps will you take during your first year in office to achieve it?

4.  Finally, and most importantly, knowing that even substantial additional resources devoted to addressing the backlog still provide nothing for major new capacity “megaprojects,” what steps will you take during your first year in office to provide desperately needed funding both to expedite improvements along the I-10 corridor and to establish another major thoroughfare through the region and across the Mississippi River?

The full text of the candidates’ responses can be viewed below.

Posted on November 17, 2015 .