Proposed transportation bill will maintain spending

By |  May 14, 2014

A bipartisan, six-year surface transportation bill proposed by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee would maintain spending on federal-aid highways at current levels plus inflation, NSSGA says.

The $252 billion bill, known as the MAP-21 Reauthorization Act, would authorize new spending on freight programs, add award grants for states’ best practices that save time and costs, and maintain the low-interest TIFIA infrastructure loans at current levels.

If passed, the bill would create jobs, Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and ranking member David Vitter (R-La.) said in a statement.

The MAP-21 Reauthorization Act would authorize $38.4 billion out of the Highway Trust Fund for fiscal year 2015, then increase with inflation in the following years to: $39.2 billion in 2016; $40 billion in 2017; $40.8 billion in 2018; $41.7 billion in 2019; and $42.6 in 2020. TIGER grants, which are currently funded at $600 million, would drop to $400 million, but the bill would add a program authorized to spend up to $125 million per year for awards to states that show special innovation or efficiency.

The bill does not include a new funding plan because that jurisdiction lies with the Senate Finance Committee. In an effort to come up with about $18 billion per year of new revenue to fund the MAP-21 Reauthorization Act, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) will hold a hearing May 6 to study options and proposals.

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