Legislation

May 1, 2017 Interim Update

Washington Update

prepared by CATHY CONNOR - DIRECTOR OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

This morning the House and Senate Appropriations Committees released the text of the final FY'17 funding/appropriations bill for US DOT and many other federal agencies.  The THUD (US DOT) bill is part of a large multi-agency omnibus bill rather than a stand-alone bill.  The goal is to pass the omnibus on the House and Senate floors this week before the latest short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on Friday.

The THUD bill honors the FAST Act authorized funding levels for FY'17 and does not incorporate the spending cuts recommended by President Trump - at least not for FY'17 - FY'18 could be a different story. 

Highlights include:

  • $500M for the TIGER program
  • $2.41B for FTA Capital Grants (CIGs) including funding for projects that do not yet have a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) - see page 32 of the explanatory statement - link below
  • $1.45B for Amtrak which includes funding for Amtrak's long distance lines
  • $3M for the operation of the Build America Bureau

Here are links to:

The text of the full omnibus bill - here- see Division K for the US DOT portion of the bill starting on page 1464 of the document

The explanatory statement for Division K - here

Additional details -

FHWA - the full FAST Act authorized level of $43.26B for the highway program.  This includes the FAST Act authorized level of $850M for the popular FASTLANE discretionary grant program and full funding for TIFIA financing program.

FAA - the full authorized level of $3.35B for the construction-related Airport Improvement Program (AIP).

FRA - in addition to the $1.45B total for Amtrak (versus the FY'16 level of $1.39B), the bill also provides modest funding for the first time for three new FAST Act rail discretionary grant programs - $68M for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure/Safety Grants (CRISI), $25M for the State of Good Repair Grants, and $5M for the Rail Restoration/Enhancement Grants. 

TIGER - the same level of $500M as in FY'16.  The bill decreases the maximum TIGER grant from $100M to $25M and also reduces the maximum share that can be awarded in a single state each year from 20 percent to 10 percent.  As in FY'16, planning work is not eligible for TIGER grants. 

FTA - the full FAST Act authorized level of $9.73B for transit formula grants, in addition to $2.41B (versus $2.17B in FY'16) for Capital Improvement Grants (CIG) - New Starts, Small Starts and Core Capacity Projects. The bill funds the full $199M in one-time funding for commuter rail implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) and the full $150M for DC's WMATA transit system.  The CIG funding is enough to fund all the transit projects with FFGAs (approximately $1.56B) as well as projects without an FFGA.  The explanatory statement - see page 32 in the link above - lists the FFGA and non-FFGA projects eligible to be funded.  They include 4 "New FFGA" projects, 3 "New Core Capacity Projects", and 10 Small Start projects.  Project funding of note:

Maryland Purple Line - $125M

California CALTRAIN Electrification - $100M

New York Canarsie Power Improvement - $83.6M

Assuming the omnibus passes this week, which it is expected to do, and the President signs the bill, the big question remaining is how will US DOT implement the FY'17 appropriations given that President Trump has said he does not support funding for TIGER, the Amtrak long distance system, or CIG projects without FFGAs.

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April 25, 2017 Interim Update

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April 10, 2017

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March 28, 2017

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March 6, 2017 Interim Update