Would Trump’s infrastructure plan leave Louisiana out in the cold?
The Trump administration’s 10-year, $1 trillion infrastructure plan could bring a drastic policy shift that Louisiana leaders say would leave the state uniquely disadvantaged to pay for things like roads, bridges and other projects.
White House officials in recent months have spelled out some of the details of Trump’s long-touted infrastructure proposal. Of the $1 trillion, only $200 billion would come from the federal government, while $800 billion would come in the form of private investment. The White House also plans to shift away from the traditional funding formula—where the federal government pays for the bulk of state projects—and instead have states and localities put up most of the money for infrastructure projects.
“I think we are structurally disadvantaged to be nationally competitive and to take advantage of the proposed Trump package,” Shawn Wilson, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Developmentsecretary, says.
Wilson applauds the Trump administration’s emphasis on infrastructure. At the same time, the planned shift of focus toward a competitive market for infrastructure dollars leaves Louisiana—a state with just 4.6 million people, aging roads and a $13 billion backlog in infrastructure projects—less than qualified to compete with big cities where companies can get a bigger return on their investments.