David Madden has been appointed to the transportation committee under Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards.
“It’s a panel of 20 industry representatives from labor, ports, rail, aviation, concrete, hot mix, trucking, anything to do with transportation, land, sea and air,” Madden, manager of Madden Contracting, said. “We were tasked with coming up with resumes and narrowing those down to a selection of the secretary for the Department of Transportation. That has been done and forwarded to the governor and his master transition staff.”
The transition committee on transportation is charged with suggesting ways to restore trust to the Transportation Trust Fund and end the use of that fund for alternative purposes.
Edwards also asked them to make recommendations that would allow the state to commit another 25 percent of the capital outlay budget for the construction of roads, bridges and ports, while also increasing the amount of federal dollars drawn down to address the $12 billion infrastructure backlog.
“Our roads, bridges and ports are critical economic drivers in our state,” Edwards said. “If we want to be competitive and produce more jobs for Louisianans, we must face our infrastructure problem with the urgency and funding mechanisms required.”
Madden says he feels the only way to better fund transportation needs is to raise the gasoline tax by 12 cents, adding it will put Louisiana back to 1992 purchasing power.
“There is no magic pot of money that you can just instantly increase road construction,” he said. “The only way that is going to happen is literally through some form of tax increase. Whether the governor has any palette for that or not, that’s his decision, and the legislature as they move towards the legislative session that I’m almost 100 percent sure will be called in February.”
Madden applauded the incoming governor for reaching across party lines to find a solution to the challenges for all Louisianans.
“I personally feel that he is honest, sincere and is a straight-shooter,” he said. “I think he has Louisiana’s best interest at heart. I do very much feel that we the taxpayer need to give him, the legislature, and the special session the benefit of the doubt to make some dad-gum hard choices that the present administration has basically kicked the can down the road.”
The transportation committee is chaired by Greg Morrison, vice president/manager of Quality Transport Co., and co-chaired by Rochelle Dugas, president of Michaud Dugas Companies.
Those on the transportation committee include: Justin Augustine, vice president of Transdevelopment, Johnny Bradberry, chief operating officer of TOPCOR Companies LLC, Ernie Broussard, Hunt, Guillot & Associates, Mike Bruce, senior principal of Stantec, Dan Casey, director of state government affairs, Dealertrack Technologies, Randy Denmon, president of Denmon Engineering, Davd Duplechain, state legislative director, SMART, Perry Franklin, president of Franklin and Associates, Cedric Grant, executive director of the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, Sundiata Haley, general counsel of New Orleans Regional Transit Authority, Theron Jackson, pastor of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, Madden, Ken Naquin, CEO, Louisiana Association of General Contractors, Brent Petit, international staff representative of United Steelworkers, Erich Ponti, executive director of Louisiana Asphalt Association, Roy Quezaire, deputy director of the South Louisiana Port Authority, Darrel Saizan, principal, Darrel J. Saizan & Associates, Inc., John Spain, executive vice president of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Harold Taylor, council member district 5, St. Landry Parish Council, Anne Trappey, CEO of Forte & Tablada, Michael W. Victorian, senior client executive, CMA Technology Solutions Inc., Jerry Walley, sales and marketing manager of Ergon Companies, Erin Monroe Wesley, executive vice president and COO of Baton Rouge Area Chamber, James (Jay) Winford, president of Prairie Contractors and Jimmie Woods, CEO of Metro Service Group.
Edwards also announced the public safety committee, which will make recommendations to reduce generational poverty challenges that result from chronic incarceration. The committee is also tasked with addressing the continued presence of Louisiana State Police in New Orleans and the proper funding of state police salaries and retirement from outside of the Capital Outlay Budget.
Finally, they have been asked to assess the ways in which we protect life, property and public safety under state authority during times of natural disaster and other emergencies.
“At this especially precarious time ensuring the safety and security of our people is the primary goal of this committee,” Edwards said. “Collaboration among these diverse stakeholders will help us move quickly to craft the best policies to improve public safety. I am looking forward to receiving their recommendations.
The public safety committee is chaired by Mike Ranatza, executive director of the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association.