Common Language in State Performance Recovery Plans

by Christina Gordley 

The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated health disparities, with marked differences in health outcomes linked to social, economic or environmental disadvantages observed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act was designed, in part, to achieve greater equity. Guidance from the U.S. Treasury required that funds be used to address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the inequitable health and welfare impact of the pandemic on certain populations.  

CSG analysists conducted a review of the language in the state performance recovery plans that each state — so far — submitted to the U.S. Department of the Treasury to help illustrate how the states are using the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to achieve equitable outcomes.  

Of the 36 plans available by press time (states continue to submit and publish these plans), 29 states addressed the intent and plan to achieve equitable outcomes using the state and local fiscal recovery funds. CSG analyzed the text of these submitted plans to examine the similarities in the approach and actions taken by the states.  

Nationally, the most used word in the section to describe state actions was “business,” which was used 122 times among the documents. While it may seem odd for the use of business so frequently to address inequalities in systemic barriers, states have the unique position to leverage use of incentives and procurement models to promote businesses to achieve desired outcomes in workforce equity. 

Words used nationally to address equitable outcomes by frequency are: 

  1. Business 
  1. Service 
  1. Access 
  1. Impact 
  1. Economy 
  1. Provide 
  1. Health 
  1. Pandemic 
  1. Education 
  1. Recovering 

Each state faces unique needs and challenges when addressing equity, and when examining the approach to equitable outcomes by region, the focus of the language in the state-submitted reports changed. For example, states in the East referenced business, service, impact and access most during their report on equitable outcomes, whereas in the West, the words most used were health, provide, house and business. 

Read more about ARP equity guidance in Capitol Ideas magazine (2021, Issue 5)

Kentucky Extraordinary Session Ends, Some Emergency Powers Remain

Kentucky held a special legislative session ending on Sept. 10, during which legislators challenged the power of the Governor.

During the 2020 onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the legality of several governor’s emergency orders came into question.

In Kentucky, Governor Andy Beshear shuttered schools, businesses he deemed non-essential and gyms in his effort to fight the virus. As the days wore on, he instituted a statewide mask requirement for businesses to open back up.

Kentucky freshman legislator Adrienne Southworth quickly filed a bill in response — Senate Bill 158 — which would prohibit any law, regulation, executive order or mandate from requiring a facial covering. The bill died in the Senate health and welfare committee.

As the session wrapped up, Beshear’s emergency powers were curtailed. The Kentucky Supreme Court ended the ongoing state of emergency that began in March 2020 in August. A three-day special session began on Sept. 7.

The mask mandate was removed in public schools as legislators passed SB 1. The legislature passed SB 2 which requires mask mandates to be delivered by businesses and local governments rather than by the governor. This bill also prohibited the state from instituting a visitor ban at nursing homes. Senate bills 1 and 2 were enacted despite Governor Beshear’s veto.

“What did they do?,” Governor Beshear said in a press conference. “They punted on first out.”

Senate President Robert Stivers disagreed.

“Why do you say we have punted when virtually all school systems have voted to continue the mask mandate?” Stivers said. “We felt that it would be better for local people to make local decisions. We didn’t punt anything.”

SB 3 was signed into law. SB 3 will utilize $69 million federal dollars to fight the pandemic in Kentucky.

In a surprise twist for the Republican-run legislature, House Joint Resolution 1 extended the Governor’s ability to declare a state of emergency until Jan. 15, 2022.


Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Power Grids, Utilities and Electric Vehicles

by Dakota Thomas

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act[1] — also referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package — was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Nov. 15, 2021. The bill contains $1.2 trillion in total funding ($550 billion of which is new spending) for various infrastructure purposes, including roads and bridges, broadband, drinking water resources, airports, electrical vehicles and more. In this brief, analysts at The Council of State Governments break down the $73 billion in funding allocated for power grids and utilities improvements and the $12.5 billion for electric vehicle chargers and buses, through the lens of state needs. Power grid and utility improvements are tied as the third largest funding source in the bill.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill will add a total of $256 billion to the national deficit. While it is difficult to know the full macroeconomic effects of the bill, Moody’s Analytics provides estimates of the effects on employment and the gross domestic product by the infrastructure package.

Funding Breakdown

States are eligible to apply for the competitive grants and revolving loan programs funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act listed here. Other programs, like the Weatherization Assistance Program, are open to applications from individuals or other stakeholders (e.g. hydroelectric plants). 

Power Grids

  • Funds the creation of four clean hydrogen hubs to generate electricity – $8 billion.
  • Subsidizes current nuclear power plants – $6 billion.
  • Establishes new competitive grants to enhance resilience of the electrical grid – $5 billion over five years.
  • Adds funding to the Weatherization Assistance Program – $3.5 billion in fiscal year 2022.
  • Creates competitive grant for modernizing energy infrastructure – $3 billion over five years.
  • Establishes revolving loan fund for replacement or enhancement of electrical transmission lines – $2.5 billion over five years.
  • Adds funding to and expands the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program – $550 million in fiscal year 2022.
  • Establishes competitive grants for enhancing energy efficiency in schools, including improvements, repairs or renovations to lower energy costs – $500 million over five years.
  • Allocates funding for capital improvements to existing hydroelectric power facilities to improve grid resiliency, dam safety and lower environmental impact – $553 million.
  • Adds funding to incentivize hydroelectric power generation – $125 million.
  • Creates a transmission facilitation program for eligible projects like creating or replacing transmission lines, increasing transmission capacity or connecting microgrids to larger corridors – $50 million over five years.

Electric Vehicles (EVs)

  • Establishes federal funding for EV charger infrastructure – $7.5 billion.
  • Establishes federal funding for EV school buses – $5 billion.
  • Establishes grants for states for battery processing – $3 billion over five years.
  • Creates an EV working group to provide recommendations on integrating EVs into the energy system and orders a demonstration project to use EVs as decentralized energy storage and a study of the environmental impacts of EV use.

For a breakdown of estimated electric vehicle charging infrastructure formula funding by state, see the chart below. Note that figures are estimates and do not include the competitive grants for which states, territories and the District of Columbia are eligible to apply.

Sources and Resources

EV Charging Infrastucture Funding

EV Charging Infrastructure Formula Funding by State/Territory (in millions, USD)  
UnitEV Charging Station Funding (estimated)
Alabama$79
Alaska$52
Arizona$76
Arkansas$54
California$384
Colorado$57
Connecticut$53
Delaware$18
District of Columbia$17
Florida$198
Georgia$135
Hawaii$18
Idaho$30
Illinois$149
Indiana$100
Iowa$51
Kansas$40
Kentucky$69
Louisiana$73
Maine$19
Maryland$63
Massachusetts$63
Michigan$110
Minnesota$68
Mississippi$51
Missouri$99
Montana$43
Nebraska$30
Nevada$38
New Hampshire$17
New Jersey$104
New Mexico$38
New York$175
North Carolina$109
North Dakota$26
Ohio$140
Oklahoma$66
Oregon$52
Pennsylvania$171
Puerto Rico$13.6
Rhode Island$23
South Carolina$70
South Dakota$29
Tennessee$88
Texas$408
Utah$36
Vermont$21
Virginia$106
Washington$71
West Virginia$46
Wisconsin$79
Wyoming$27

Data Source:  White House State Fact Sheets

Note that figures are estimates and do not include the competitive grants for which states, territories and the District of Columbia are eligible to apply.


[1] Also commonly known as the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework.”

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Public Transit Infrastructure and Safety

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act[1] — also referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package — was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Nov. 15, 2021. The bill contains $1.2 trillion in total funding ($550 billion of which is new spending) for various infrastructure purposes, including roads and bridges, broadband, drinking water resources, airports, electrical vehicles and more. In this brief, analysts at The Council of State Governments break down the $163.5 billion in funding going to public transit, rail, airports and ports and waterways improvements. State by state fact sheets are available with preliminary estimates of funding to be allocated by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Funding Breakdown

Passenger and Freight Rail

  • Funds for Amtrak to eliminate the maintenance backlog, modernize the Northeast Corridor and extend rail service past the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions – $66 billion.
    • Grants to Amtrak for track improvement and train purchases – $22 billion.
    • Intercity Passenger Rail federal-state partnership grants establishing new and renovating existing corridors – $36 billion.
    • Additional funding to the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program to improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of intercity passenger and freight rail – $5 billion.
    • Additional funding to the Railroad Grade-Crossing Elimination Program to eliminate hazards at railway-highway crossings – $3 billion.
  • The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act authorizes possible additional investments of $36 billion for rail by 2026, but these funds require separate Congressional approval.

Public Transit

  • Increased baseline levels of funding in contract authority (a form of mandatory budget authority) from the Mass Transit account of the Highway Trust Fund for transit programs administered by the Federal Transit Administration – $19 billion.
  • State of Good Repair grants to transit agencies to support maintenance, replacement and rehabilitation projects – $5 billion.
  • Capital Investment Grants to support new and expanded commuter and light rail, bus and ferry service – $8 billion.
  • Funding to improve mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities by removing barriers to transportation service and expanding transportation mobility options – $2 billion.
  • Funding to state and local governments for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses under the Low-No Program – $5 billion.

Airports, Ports and Waterways

  • Funding for the Airport Improvement grant programfor runways, gates and taxiways– $15 billion.
  • Creating the Airport Terminal Improvement program to improve air traffic control infrastructure – $5 billion.
  • Funding for waterway infrastructure to mitigate the impact of extreme climates and improve port and waterway infrastructure – $17 billion.

Safety

  • Funding for the Safe Streets and Roads for All program which provides grants to cities, metropolitan areas, towns and tribal areas that face disproportionate impact from crashes – $5 billion.
  • Creating the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation grant program for projects that advance smart city or community technologies to improve transportation safety – $500 million.
  • Funding for Pipeline Safety Modernization grants – $1 billion.
  • Funding for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Data and Enforcement – $700 million.
  • Supporting Safe Driving Behaviors – $1.1 billion.
  • Increasing the Highway Trust Fund to invest in road and vehicle safety improvement and appropriating funds to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to regulate truck and bus-related industries – $2.2 billion.

Sources and Resources

Funding allocation by state

Highway and Bridge Formula Funding (in millions, USD)  
StateTransit FundingAirport Funding
Alabama$400$140
Alaska$362$392
Arizona$884$348
Arkansas$246$117
California$9,450$1,500
Colorado$916$432
Connecticut$1,300$62
Delaware$220$246
District of Columbia$1,200
Florida$2,600$1,200
Georgia$1,400$619
Hawaii$312$246
Idaho$192$86
Illinois$4,000$616
Indiana$680$170
Iowa$305$120
Kansas$272$109
Kentucky$391$204
Louisiana$407$179
Maine$243$74
Maryland$1,700$158
Massachusetts$2,500$244
Michigan$1,000$363
Minnesota$818$297
Mississippi$223$99
Missouri$674$246
Montana$157$143
Nebraska$186$111
Nevada$459$293
New Hampshire$125$45.6
New Jersey$4,100$272
New Mexico$366$90
New York$9,800$685
North Carolina$910$460
North Dakota$109$94
Ohio$1,200$253
Oklahoma$349$137
Oregon$747$211
Pennsylvania$2,900$355
Rhode Island$272$45
South Carolina$366$161
South Dakota$124$82
Tennessee$630$300
Texas$3,300$1,200
Utah$623$181
Vermont$77$28
Virginia$1,200$386
Washington$1,790$385
West Virginia$190$44
Wisconsin$592$198
Wyoming$72
American Samoa$7.5$6
Guam$11$30
Northern Mariana Islands$7$30
Puerto Rico$456$102
U.S. Virgin Islands$25$30

Data Source:  White House State Fact Sheets.

Note that figures are estimates and do not include the competitive grants for which states, territories and the District of Columbia are eligible to apply.


[1] Also commonly known as the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework.”

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Broadband Affordability and Infrastructure

By Ben Reynolds

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act1 — also referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package — passed the House on Nov. 5. President Joe Biden is expected to sign it today, Monday, Nov. 15. The bill contains $1.2 trillion in funding ($550 billion of which is new spending) for various infrastructure purposes, including roads and bridges, broadband, drinking water resources, airports, electrical vehicles and more. In this brief, analysts at The Council of State Governments break down the $65 billion in funding for broadband expansion and access.

Funding Breakdown

  • Establishing the Broadband Equity, Access, and Development Program to be administered by National Telecommunications and Information Administration to states through matching grants – $42.5 billion.
  • Investing in and making permanent the Affordable Connectivity Program (formally known as the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program administered by the Federal Communications Commission) to provide a monthly subsidy for low-income families purchasing internet service, with higher subsidies for qualifying families in high-cost areas and households participating in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program – $14.2 billion.
  • Investing in the Digital Equity Act Competitive Grant Programs administered by the Department of Commerce – $2.75 billion.
    • State Capacity Grant Program for state efforts to achieve digital equity and inclusion.
    • Digital Equity Act Competitive Grant Programs (from Competitive Grant Program funds) focused on senior citizens, veterans, minorities and individuals with a language barrier – $250 million.
  • Investing in Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program – $2 billion.
  • Investing in Middle Mile Grants – National Telecommunications and Information Administration grant program for the construction, improvement or acquisition of infrastructure (prioritizing underserved areas and requiring buildout to be completed within five years of the grant being made) – $1 billion.

Broadband Equity, Access, and Development Program

NTIA will allocate the $42.5 billion of the Broadband Equity, Access, and Development Program three ways:

  1. Minimum of $100 million funding to each state, with an additional $100 million to be allocated equally among U.S. territories
  2. Allocates approximately $4.35 billion for broadband projects to underserved locations in high-cost areas. Eligible areas will be determined by NTIA based on a formula defined in the bill (e.g., remoteness, population density, poverty, etc.)
  3. Approximately $32.2 billion will be allocated for broadband projects in unserved locations.

The Broadband Equity, Access and Development Program is to be established no later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. States that wish to participate in the program are to submit a letter of intent, initial proposal and final proposal. Once the NTIA allocates the grants, each state is responsible for submitting a five-year action plan that addresses the areas eligible and the proposed solutions. States can award subgrants to cooperatives, nonprofit organizations, public‐private partnerships, private companies, public or private utilities, public utility districts or local governments.

A matching contribution of at least 25% of the project costs must be provided by a state or its subgrantee. The state match generally has to be from non-federal funds, though some federal sources are explicitly permitted in the bill.

States are required to prioritize unserved service projects until the state can determine universal coverage of all unserved locations. States also must prioritize projects based on additional factors: poverty, speed of proposed services and compliance with federal labor and employment laws.

Sources and Resources

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Roads and Bridges

By Dakota Thomas

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act[1] — also referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package — passed the House Nov. 5. President Joe Biden is expected to sign it today, Monday, Nov. 15. The bill contains $1.2 trillion in funding ($550 billion of which is new spending) for various infrastructure purposes, including roads and bridges, broadband, drinking water resources, airports, electrical vehicles and more. In this brief, analysts at The Council of State Governments break down the $110 billion in funding going to roads, bridges and other major ground transportation projects through the lens of state needs. Itis the largest focus of funding in the bill.

Funding Breakdown

  • Increasing the Highway Trust Fund – $273.15 billion over five years.
  • Expanding eligible uses for Surface Transportation Block Grant funding, including electric vehicle charging, projects to increase tourism and wildlife collision mitigation efforts – $72 billion.
  • Establishing the Bridge Investment Program for renewal projects on bridges that are in fair or poor condition – $40 billion over five years.
  • Creating U.S. Department of Transportation grants for eligible projects including intercity rail, highway and bridge projects, public transit and rail crossings – $15 billion.
  • Creating the Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient and Cost Saving Transportation (PROTECT) Program (focused on natural resilience and hazard mitigation) – $7.3 billion.
  • Creating a Carbon Reduction Program (includes investments in sidewalks, bike lanes, public transit projects and technologies to reduce carbon emissions) – $6.41 billion.
  • Creating Rural Surface Transportation Grant – $2 billion over five years.
  • Establishing Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program through the Department of Transportation to reduce collisions with wildlife and improve habitat connectivity – $350 million over five years.
  • Investing additional funding to the off-system bridge set-aside – $258 million.

These are a selection of the largest investments contained in the infrastructure package. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill will add $256 billion to the national deficit. While it is difficult to know the full macroeconomic effects of the bill, Moody’s Analytics provides estimates of the effects on employment and the Gross Domestic Product by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

For a breakdown of formula highway and bridge renewal funding allocations by state, see the chart below. Note that figures are estimates and do not include the competitive grants for which states, territories and the District of Columbia are eligible to apply.

Condition of Highways and Bridges in States

Infrastructure needs vary across the U.S. According to estimates from USA Today, the funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will likely benefit the following 10 states the most, as they have a relatively high proportion of roadways/bridges in need of repair. 

Unit% Roads in Poor Condition% Bridges in Poor Condition
Rhode Island24.6%23.1%
Alaska18.7%9.7%
California16.9%7.0%
New Jersey16.8%8.1%
Hawaii16.1%6.9%
Massachusetts15.4%9.2%
New York13.4%10.0%
Iowa7.5%19.4%
Pennsylvania7.1%16.6%
West Virginia4.8%19.9%

Sources and Resources

Highway and Bridge Formula Funding (in millions USD)

Alabama$5,200$225
Alaska$3,400$225
Arizona$5,000$225
Arkansas$3,600$278
California$25,300$4,200
Colorado$3,700$225
Connecticut$3,500$561
Delaware$1,200$225
District of Columbia$1,100$225
Florida$13,100$245
Georgia$8,900$225
Hawaii$1,200$339
Idaho$2,000$225
Illinois$9,800$1,400
Indiana$6,600$401
Iowa$3,400$432
Kansas$2,600$225
Kentucky$4,600$438
Louisiana$4,800$101
Maine$1,300$225
Maryland$4,100$409
Massachusetts$4,200$110
Michigan$7,300$563
Minnesota$4,500$302
Mississippi$3,300$225
Missouri$6,500$484
Montana$2,800$225
Nebraska$2,000$225
Nevada$2,500$225
New Hampshire$1,100$225
New Jersey$6,800$1,100
New Mexico$2,500$225
New York$11,600$1,900
North Carolina$7,200$457
North Dakota$1,700$225
Ohio$9,200$483
Oklahoma$4,300$266
Oregon$3,400$268
Pennsylvania$11,300$1,600
Rhode Island$1,500$242
South Carolina$4,600$274
South Dakota$1,900$225
Tennessee$5,800$302
Texas$26,900$537
Utah$2,400$225
Vermont$1,400$225
Virginia$7,000$537
Washington$4,700$605
West Virginia$3,000$506
Wisconsin$5,200$225
Wyoming$1,800$225
American Samoa$24<-Combined
Guam$95<-Combined
Northern Mariana Islands$24<-Combined
Puerto Rico$900$225
U.S. Virgin Islands$95<-Combined

Data Source:  White House State Fact Sheets.

Note that figures are estimates and do not include the competitive grants for which states, territories and the District of Columbia are eligible to apply.


[1] Also commonly known as the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework.”

CSG Remembers Former Delaware Gov. Minner as a Trailblazer

Former Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, who died at 86 on Nov. 4, is remembered as a trailblazer both in her home state and at The Council of State Governments.

Minner served as the first and only female governor of Delaware (2001-09), as well as the state’s first female lieutenant governor (1993-2001). Her entry into politics at the age of 30 was unconventional, according to the Delaware News Journal, and included early roles a receptionist and legislative aid before she was elected to four terms in the Delaware House of Representatives and three terms in the Senate.

In addition to serving as the first female governor of Delaware, Minner became the first woman to serve as national president of The Council of State Governments in 2005 and was deeply involved in work of CSG East/Eastern Regional Conference.

In a statement, Delaware Gov. John Carney remembered Minner as a devoted public servant whose passion was rooted in personal experience. Carney served as Minner’s lieutenant governor from 2001-09.

“She was a leader who had a real common touch,” Carney said. “Governor Minner focused on raising up the working families of our state because she knew what it meant to struggle. Having grown up poor in Slaughter Beach, she brought that perspective to her job every day, and she never lost her attachment to those roots.

“During her time in office, Governor Minner worked with legislators of both parties to improve health care and fight cancer, strengthen our education system, and attract good jobs to our state. She will be greatly missed. Tracey and I are praying for Governor Minner’s family, and her many friends across our state, during this difficult time.”

CSG to Hold Safety Awareness on Public Transit Virtual Learning Seminar

by Kaitlyn Bison 

The Council of State Governments will host the Safety Awareness on Public Transit Virtual Learning Seminar on Nov. 17 and 18 at 1 p.m. ET as part of the Federal Transit Authority Crime Prevention and Public Safety Awareness project. CSG invites policymakers, stakeholders and subject-matter experts in public transportation to this two-day virtual learning opportunity to engage with one another and share strategies for safety awareness on public transportation. With a focus on human trafficking prevention, participants will be able to attend several sessions with speakers from different sectors in the transportation industry, sharing their experiences and best practices for mitigating safety issues. Participants will also have the opportunity to discuss the presentations with their fellow attendees in breakout rooms as well as during a virtual action planning session.  

The seminar will feature experts who are spearheading change to prevent human trafficking and strengthen public safety in public transportation. Learn more about the experts: 

Dharm Guruswamy, public transportation safety specialist: Dharm Guruswamy is an experienced transportation professional whose 20+ years of professional experience spans the private, public, quasi-public and public multilateral sectors. More recently, Guruswamy has been a key player in the federal government’s first exercise of direct safety oversight of a rail transit agency, where he currently serves as deputy director of the Federal Transit Authority’s Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority Safety Oversight Team. He is a member of the Rail Transit Systems Committee (AP065) and a former member of the Intercity Passenger Rail Committee (AR010) of the Transportation Research Board. Guruswamy holds a Transit Safety and Security Program Certification for Rail (TSSP-Rail) from the Transit Safety Institute of the U.S. Department of Transportation. 

Polly Hanson, senior director security, risk and emergency management: Polly Hanson is responsible for developing transit security, risk and emergency management standards and policies for the American Public Transportation Association. She performs peer reviews and assists with safety audits and serves as an advocate for transportation security, as well as a source matter expert on transit security, risk and emergency management issues. Hanson earned her master’s degree in applied behavioral science from Johns Hopkins University and her bachelor’s degree in communications from Temple University. In addition, she continued her education by attending the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Executive Institute, Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar and National Academy. Hanson is working to obtain her FTA Transit Safety and Security Program and Safety Measurement System certifications. 

Allison Grossman, director of public policy and strategic advocacy: Allison Grossman is the director of public policy and strategic advocacy at Polaris. She is an experienced strategist, advocate and nonprofit leader with expertise in issue advocacy, government relations and coalition building. Prior to joining Polaris, she served as the senior advisor, global policy and advocacy at RESULTS, a grassroots anti-poverty advocacy organization, where she led campaigns on global education and early childhood development. She also has worked with Save the Children and American Jewish World Service. Grossman started her career as an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Arizona. She earned her master’s degree in governmental studies from the Johns Hopkins University. 

Chris Van Eyken, senior program associate, improving agency practice: Chris Van Eyken’s work focuses on encouraging transit agencies to adopt best practices and needed reforms. He has advocated for better transit as an agency staff member and as an external advocate. Van Eyken has provided technical support to agencies in the U.S. and abroad. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from the George Washington University and a master’s degree in urban planning from Hunter College. 

Kristen Joyner, vice president, CTAA Board of Directors: Kristen Joyner is vice president of the Community Transportation Association of America, a national membership association representing rural, small-urban, specialized and Non-Emergency Medical Transportation  providers. Joyner has represented the South West Transit Association on the CTAA Board since 2017. Currently, she serves as an advocate for transit issues and conducts leadership training and certification programs for transportation professionals. From 2012 – 2016, she was a member of the White House Task Force for Transit Leaders. Recently, she spearheaded Operation Veterans in Public Transportation, a project that SWTA developed to acknowledge and support veterans in transportation. 

Scott Bogren, executive director: Scott Bogren has been with the Community Transportation Association of America since 1989, serving the association in a wide variety of roles before being named executive director in 2016. He is a passionate transit advocate and — prior to COVID-19 — a daily transit user. His work always has focused on building and promoting safe, affordable, accessible and inclusive mobility for all Americans.  

The Honorable Judge Jamie Cork of Minnesota: Hon. Jamie Cork was appointed to the First Judicial District Bench in August 2016, where she presides over a variety of cases. She co-chairs the Dakota County Domestic Violence Coordinated Community Response Team and the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Elimination of Racial Bias Committee. She also is an active member of the First District Equal Justice Committee, Minnesota Children’s Justice Initiative, CJI Indian Child Welfare Act training faculty and subcommittee and CJI Parent Representation subcommittee. Cork worked with Native American tribes and communities in an attempt to assure that families and children were able to obtain culturally appropriate education and services. She helped establish Minnesota statewide policy, training and community outreach regarding the sexual exploitation of youth. She has brought awareness and education about human trafficking to the community through local, state, national and international presentations to judges, attorneys, law enforcement and other professionals. 

Assemblyman Ash Kalra, California: Ash Kalra represents California’s 27th District, which encompasses approximately half of San José and includes all of downtown. He was first elected in 2016, becoming the first Indian American to serve in the California legislature in state history, and he was re-elected to his third term in 2020. Kalra is the chair of the Committee on Labor and Employment and also serves as a member on the Housing and Community Development, Judiciary, Transportation and Water, Parks and Wildlife committees. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a law degree from Georgetown University. 

Assemblywoman Carol Murphy, New Jersey: Assemblywoman Carol A. Murphy is currently serving her second term representing the New Jersey 7th Legislative District. First elected in 2017, Murphy is the first woman in over 20 years to represent the 7th Legislative District, as well as being the first Democrat from Mount Laurel to serve in the state legislature. She currently serves as the Assembly deputy majority leader and is the vice-chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee. She also is a member of the Assembly Budget Committee, the Assembly Financial Institution and Insurance Committee and the Assembly Oversight, Reforms and Federal Relations Committee. Additionally, she serves on the Assembly Special Committee on Infrastructure and Natural Resources.  

Those interested in attending the Safety Awareness on Public Transit Virtual Learning Seminar can reach out to Sydney Blodgett at sblodgett@csg.org with any questions and register with the following link: Meeting Registration – Zoom