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Rep. Ed Pacheco proposes Transportation Council

Rep. Edwin Pacheco (D-District 47, Burrillville, Glocester) proposed yesterday the creation of a Transportation Review Council.

STATE HOUSE – Rep. Edwin R. Pacheco has introduced legislation that would create a council led by the lieutenant governor to coordinate transportation policy for the state.

The Transportation Review Council would issue recommendations to the governor and the Department of Transportation regarding transportation issues such as quality and standards of Rhode Island’s transportation system, adequacy of funding, staffing, and enforcement of regulations. The council, of which the lieutenant governor would serve as chairperson, would also be empowered to establish subcommittees to investigate special areas of concern and issue reports to the findings to the council as a whole.

Representative Pacheco (D-Dist. 47, Burrillville, Glocester), who served as cochairman of a joint commission that studied public transportation for about two years and proposed legislation (2009-H 6337) aimed at making the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority a more viable transportation option for all residents, said he introduced this legislation because he believes there needs to be a more comprehensive approach to the state’s transportation planning and policies.

“We have a state agency that is concerned with building and maintaining roads and bridges, another that is concerned with buses, another for the airports, and various city, state, and town agencies that are concerned with planning for development. What we need is an effort to look at the big picture and bring parties from all these places together so they’re working in concert. This council will lead to greater efficiency, better communication and better coordination so transportation in Rhode Island is improved in sensible ways,” said Representative Pacheco.

The council would consist of 12 members. One would be the lieutenant governor, who would serve as the council’s chairperson. The governor, the lieutenant governor, the Senate president and the House speaker would each appoint two other members, and the Secretary of State, the General Treasurer and the director of the Department of Transportation would each appoint one.

By law, the lieutenant governor is responsible for leading other similar policy councils, including the Long-Term-Care Coordinating Council, the Small Business Advocacy Council and the Rhode Island Emergency Management Advisory Council.

“Transportation planning shouldn’t be done piecemeal. We need to consider all forms of transportation, address the gaps, and share information so that we can use the limited resources we have wisely,” said Representative Pacheco.

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Waterman, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2457

Ian Donnis notes that Rep. Pacheco may well be considering a run for Lieutenant Governor in 2010.

Via WRNI “On Politics”

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