Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Approves Transportation Reauthorization Bill

Posted on: May 16th, 2014 by NADO Admin

This week, the leadership of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unveiled their transportation reauthorization bill. The current transportation bill, MAP-21, expires on September 30. S. 2322, the MAP-21 Reauthorization Act, reauthorizes federal highway programs for six years at current funding levels plus inflation. It maintains the existing consolidated core highway program structure from MAP-21 and the current formulas used to determine allocations to states. Highlights of the bill include:

• Authorization of a new, formula-based freight program to begin in fiscal year (FY) 2016

• Authorization of a $400 million per year Projects of National and Regional Significance program; 20 percent of funds are set-aside for projects in rural areas

• Changes to the Transportation Alternatives (TA) Program to increase the percentage of funds to be distributed based on population from 50 percent to 66.67 percent (the remaining 33.33 percent will be dispersed based on a competitive process in each state); nonprofit entities responsible for administering local transportation safety programs are now eligible to receive TA funding

• New transparency requirements on how and where transportation projects are selected and funded

• Flexibility to allow the bundling of multiple small projects together as if they were a single project

• Authorization for USDOT to exercise flexibility and exceptions from administrative requirements for rural road and bridge projects costing less than $30 million

S. 2322 will now go to the full Senate for consideration where it will be combined with not yet introduced measures from other Senate committees with jurisdiction over the finance, safety, and transit titles of surface transportation legislation. The House has not yet introduced its surface transportation reauthorization proposal. Click here to read a summary of S. 2322.

 

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