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Election Watch: ATSSA’s Government Relations Team is monitoring election results

Their eyes are on key races impacting transportation and infrastructure

ATSSA’s Government Relations Team is monitoring the 2020 election results and will be reporting on key races important to transportation and infrastructure when they are available. As we all know, this is an election like no other and the timing of the results is unpredictable but know that our team is on it.

Once results are clear, we’ll post them here along with GR Team analysis and insights.

Here are key issues we’re watching on the state and national level.

State Ballot Initiatives to Watch

With all the focus on this year’s presidential election, it can be easy to forget other important measures on the ballot. Due to the pandemic, signature collecting for ballot measures proved challenging this year. As a result, there are fewer ballot initiatives nationwide this year than is typical for a presidential election year. Also, several municipalities and states, including New Jersey, Oregon, North Carolina and Colorado decided to delay or cancel ballot questions related to transportation. Nevertheless, 32 states and the District of Columbia will have ballot initiatives to consider today. Following are a handful to watch related to transportation infrastructure and roadway safety (and one that passed over the summer):

Arkansas Issue 1: Transportation Sales Tax Continuation Amendment

Issue 1 is on the ballot in Arkansas as a constitutional amendment referred by the Legislature. A “yes” vote supports continuing permanently a 0.5% sales tax, with revenue dedicated to state and local highways, roads and bridges that would otherwise expire in 2023.

The Department of Finance and Administration estimated that the 0.5% sales tax authorized by the amendment would generate $293.7 million in revenue based on 12 months of collections. It would be allocated in the following way:

  • 70% ($205.59 million) to state highways
  • 15% ($44.055 million) to county transportation
  • 15% ($44.055 million) to city transportation

Maine Question 2: Transportation Infrastructure Bond (July 2020)

This bond measure passed during the primary election this year as a legislatively referred bond question. The measure authorized $105 million in general obligation bonds for transportation infrastructure projects.

Massachusetts Question 1: "Right to Repair" Initiative

Question 1 would require manufacturers that sell motor vehicles equipped with telematics systems to install a standardized open data platform beginning with model year 2022. The initiative defined telematics systems as a system in a motor vehicle that collects information generated by the operation of the vehicle that is then transmitted through wireless communications to a remote receiving point where it is stored. The measure would allow vehicle owners to access telematics system data through a mobile device application and to give consent for independent repair facilities to access that data and send commands to the system for repair, maintenance, and diagnostic testing. The measure has garnered significant campaign expenditures, and is being pushed by a group of aftermarket parts companies arguing for consumer choice and opposed by a coalition of automakers who say that the measure will open the door to third party access of consumer data, including location and driving behavior.

Virginia Question 2: Motor Vehicle Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans Amendment

Virginia Question 2 is on the ballot as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment and if approved, would exempt one automobile or pickup truck from state and local property taxes for veterans who have a 100% service-connected, permanent and total disability. The Virginia personal property tax (commonly referred to as a “car tax”) is collected at the county level and used to fund a variety of local projects.

ATSSA will monitor the passage or failure of these initiatives and report outcomes once they are

For more information, contact Renee Gibson at renee.gibson@atssa.com.

Congressional Races to Watch

The ratings for the races listed below can be found at The Cook Political Report.

OR-04 - Rep. DeFazio (D) - T&I Committee Chair - Lean Democrat

NH-01 - Rep. Pappas (D) - T&I Committee/Road Safety Caucus Co-Chair - Likely Democrat

IA-01 - Rep. Finkenauer (D) - T&I Committee - Toss-Up

IL-13 - Rep. Davis (R) - T&I Committee - Toss-Up

PA-10 - Rep. Perry (R) - T&I Committee - Toss-Up

CA-25 - Rep. Garcia (R) - T&I Committee - Toss-Up

PA-01 - Rep. Fitzpatrick (R) - T&I Committee - Lean Republican

ME- Sen. Collins (R) - THUD Appropriations Chair- Toss-Up

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