President Barack Obama Delivers Transportation Authorization “GROW AMERICA” Act to Congress

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On April 29, 2014, President Barack Obama delivered a draft of “Generating Renewal, Chance, and Use Faster Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America” or “GROW AMERICA” Act to Congress, guaranteed as his administration’s suggested multi-year surface transportation reauthorization. This is actually the first surface transportation authorization proposal to be sold, and also the House and Senate proposals could be more conservative.

The GROW AMERICA Act provides replenish the shortfall within the Highway Trust Fund (replacing it with a brand new “Transportation Trust Fund”), furthermore budgeting and accumulating yet another $87 billion for transportation priorities. Marquee infrastructure provisions include:

  • Supplying funding certainty to condition and native projects, promising $302 billion over four years (a 37% increase within the MAP-21 reauthorization.
  • Prioritizing riding on the bus in urban and rural settings, growing by 70% appropriations for transit funding
  • Targeting purchase of freight rail infrastructure, proposing $10 billion over four years for transportation projects that improve freight transportation
  • Improving ecological along with other permitting in infrastructure projects (e.g., concurrent permitting review, streamlining permitting processes, etc.)
  • Solving the “backlog of deficient bridges and aging transit systems” through $92.1 billion over four years to finance a “National Highway Performance Program” to “repair and reduce” congestion around the federal highway system and $13.4 billion via a “Critical Immediate Investments Program,” half being for stopping pavement condition deficiencies and a minimum of of quarter being to enhance bridge structural deficiencies.
  • Eliminating the prohibition on tolling existing interstate highways, susceptible to the Secretary of Transportation’s approval. Other tolling and toll-related provisions, effectively amending or repealing past transportation authorizations are suggested, described in further detail within this web site.

The GROW AMERICA Act also provides “expand and improve” financing mechanisms to improve federal funding for “game-changing” projects, ongoing and furthering discretionary grant programs and home loan programs. Particularly, the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program will give you $4 billion over 4 years to aid $40 billion in TIFIA loans. The U.S. Dot (USDOT) would also put aside $5 million each year from program funding to exchange charges typically collected from TIFIA borrowers for project development costs, assisting as much as 10 small projects worth under $75 million. Also, the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) Program will reduce loan costs, evidently making RRIF loans readily available. Further, the cap on private activity bonds (PABs) is going to be elevated from $15 billion to $19 billion PABs really are a strategies by which private development entities can work with public entities to issue tax free bonds for highway/transit projects, further fostering private sector transportation infrastructure development by putting them “on an amount arena with public sector developers” within the space.

The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program will be presented $5 billion over four years, along with a new 4-year, $4 billion competitive grant program, Fixing and Speeding up Surface Transportation (FAST) is going to be open to states, tribes, and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) using “innovative strategies” that will have “long-term impact” on their own transportation programs, including use for any program of surface transportation projects. Metropolitan planning organizations will be presented charge of bigger servings of funds (as much as 8%) under FAST, to incentivize “high performing” MPOs, within their coordination along with other MPOs, to possess greater say in where you can employ federal funding.

The GROW AMERICA Act is suggested to become funded from business tax reform, the facts which are anticipated later on.

 

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