State governments should prepare for a devastating 32-percent reduction in their federal highway funds for 2009 if a bipartisan solution is not enacted this year, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.
At issue is a multiyear Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill that would increase federal airport construction investment from $3.9 billion in FY 2009 to $4.1 billion in FY 2011. It also includes a provision put forward by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that aims to shore up the Highway Trust Fund’s (HTF’s) solvency and prevent a $14-billion cut in funding to the states next year.
The FAA bill is expected to be on the Senate floor this week, but some Republican senators, the Bush Administration, and business groups are pushing to remove the trust fund solvency provisions from the final legislation.
ARTBA supports the measure because of its important multimodal infrastructure investment provisions and continues to educate senators about the consequences of a HTF shortfall. The association’s members and state chapter affiliates are also contacting their congressional delegations to urge their support for the Baucus-Grassley proposal.
Established in 1902, ARTBA represents the U.S. transportation design and construction industry in Washington, D.C. Information about the association is available online at www.artba.org.