As 2022 chugs along, so does the rollout of new funding and programs created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law paired with the Biden Administration’s release of the National Roadway Safety Strategy makes this a unique moment in to prioritize the safety of people – including young people – in transportation planning and investment. How can you make the most of the focus on a Safe System approach to invest or re-invest in Safe Routes to School?
This post has been edited to clarify the difference between unobligated funds and awarded funds.
After a busy spring and summer working on legislation to reauthorize surface transportation spending, Congress is staring down a September 30th expiration date for current funding. Congress must reauthorize transportation spending or pass a short-term extension in order to maintain funding for transportation. Where things currently stand:
On Sunday, August 1, 2021, a bipartisan group of Senators released the final bill text for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This bill reauthorizes transportation funding through 2026 and incorporates priorities originally identified in President Biden’s American Jobs Act. It is currently being debated and amended on the Senate floor. We will continue to update this post as developments occur.
Two key points:
On Friday, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee introduced the INVEST in America Act, their version of the surface transportation bill. It looks great for bicycling and walking. Similar to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) bill released last week, it includes programs and policies that promote bicycling and walking through significantly increased funding for active transportation infrastructure.
For national news followers, it’s hard to open the paper (err - scroll Twitter) and not be bombarded with headlines about President Biden’s plans for infrastructure stimulus and the re-emergence of earmarks after a decade-long moratorium. We are paying close attention to these developments, however, our organization’s federal advocacy efforts remain focused on the reauthorization of a surface transportation bill.
Designated Projects, AKA Earmarks
The first quarter of fiscal year 2021 has come to a close, which means we have updated our quarterly State of the States TAP implementation tracking spreadsheet.
The start of the 117th Congress has been eventful to say the least. Between the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th, the Democrats re-gaining control of the Senate with the election of Senators Ossoff and Warnock in the Georgia runoff, former President Trump’s second impeachment, and the inauguration of President Biden, it can be hard to keep track of the flurry of new bills being introduced by members of Congress.
Last week, Congress passed a short-term extension to funding for all federal agencies, giving them until December 11, 2020 to reach a deal on funding for the rest of 2021. As part of that bill, Congress also included a one-year extension of current transportation law and funding (the FAST Act), through September 2021.