Washington, D.C. — On May 12, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), Senator David Vitter (R-LA), Ranking Member of the Committee, Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, and Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, released the bill text for the MAP-21 Reauthorization Act (S. 2322), long-term bipartisan legislation to fund and improve the nation's Federal-aid highway programs for six years at current funding plus inflation. The bill will be marked up in the EPW Committee on Thursday, May 15th at 9:30 am.
According to the EPW, the legislation builds on the success of the comprehensive reforms and performance-based approach to transportation investment in Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). It provides long-term funding, giving state and local governments the certainty and stability they need to improve and develop our nation's transportation infrastructure. These investments will create new jobs, provide a boost to our nation's economy, and keep us competitive in the global marketplace.
Highlights of the legislation include:
· Long-term funding certainty for state and local governments to support multi-year transportation project investments;
· Greater transparency on the use of federal funds to show taxpayers where their infrastructure dollars are being spent and reinforce public trust;
· Increased funding for existing core transportation formula programs to provide States and local governments with a strong federal partner;
· Targeted funds for projects of high importance to a community, a region, or the nation;
· Fully-funded freight and goods movement program to help states target projects that increase the efficiency, reliability, and affordability of freight transportation;
· Support for innovative financing tools that allow state and local governments to leverage federal funds for transportation projects and maximize investments; and
· Expanded flexibility for state and local governments to promote cost-effective project delivery.
MAP-21 expires on September 30, and the Highway Trust Fund is projected to run out of funds this summer.
The complete bill text is available at http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=1e3c777c-8d48-49f0-b9b6-2e725470a1bb.