|1983||President Ronald Reagan signs the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, which increases the gasoline and diesel tax by 5 cents per gallon (the first increase since 1961), and establishes the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program. The added revenue helps reverse the 1970's trend that saw highways and bridges deteriorating faster than they could be repaired. Also, Section 105(f) provides that 10 percent of the funds authorized to be appropriated by the act shall be expended with disadvantaged business enterprises.
"Common sense tells us that it will cost a lot less to keep the system we have in good repair than to let it disintegrate and have to start over from scratch. Clearly, this program is an investment in tomorrow that we must make today."