Your July 27 Pre-Trip: Governors urge Congress to raise federal gas tax

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. Some state governors – Republicans and Democrats alike – are saying they aren’t waiting to raise or borrow money to fix their state’s infrastructure, according to The Columbian. During a National Governors Association meeting on Friday, state leaders said federal lawmakers should consider raising the federal gas tax, as many states have had to increase their own. The federal gas tax hasn’t been increased since 1993, and with more Americans driving more fuel-efficient vehicles, there isn’t enough money in the fund to support repairing the country’s highways and bridges.

2. Republicans are pushing for a long-term highway funding bill, CBS News reports. According to the report, “Transportation funding has long plagued Congress, and the legislative body has for years passed short-term extensions to patch the budget gap.” The six-year Drive Act would replace the current highway authorization bill, which will expire July 31. If time runs out, according to CBS, the Department of Transportation cannot process highway and transit aid payments to states. “A few controversies still remain over the bill, including the possibility of adding language that would reauthorize the Export-Import Bank or defund Planned Parenthood,” CBS said.

3. Arizona trucking officials are hoping that the I-10 bridge collapse motivates Congress to move quickly on passing a transportation funding bill. According to Casa Grande Dispatch, Arizona Trucking Association President Tony Bradley said “one good thing may have come out of the closure … – it could point up the need to fix the nation’s infrastructure.” According to the report, federal funds provide more than 70% of the state Department of Transportation’s current construction budget. The report also stated that half of Arizona’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition.

4. An Iowa man who beat Hodgkins Lymphoma is using his passion for the trucking industry to help others going through a similar journey, KTIV reports. Paul Schelling and his wife developed “Chaos for a Cure,” a fundraiser that involves a poker run in Sioux Center in which truck drivers go to different stops around Iowa and receive a card at each stop. At the end, whoever has the best poker hand wins a prize. According to the report, “Paul Schelling says the trucking world is like a big family and people always support one another.” The event raised $4,000 to help pay for new equipment at the June E. Nylon Cancer Center.

5. According to JOC.com, the lull in rising truck rates and lower spot market rates won’t last. “U.S. shippers this year have enjoyed a breather from the frenetic pace of demand and tightening over-the-road truck capacity that drove rates higher much more forcefully in 2014,” JOC said. “But the pace of growth is picking up, and is expected to accelerate in the second half of 2015. That means more pressure on truck capacity, and more pressure on rates.” JOC has more.

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