Leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee have introduced a $283.9 billion, six-year bill to reauthorize expired federal surface transportation programs.

The Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (TEA-LU), H.R. 3, retains the policy features of the bill by the same name the House of Representatives passed last year but adds $4.5 billion in overall funding. The bill's total funding is the same as the level President Bush proposed in his fiscal year 2006 budget earlier this week. Features of the bill include:

  • Reauthorization of federal highway, public transportation, highway safety, and motor carrier safety programs for six years, from fiscal years 2004 through 2009.
  • $283.9 billion in guaranteed funding, reflecting the same level Congressional negotiations had centered on in the closing days of the 108th Congress.
  • An increase in highway obligation authority from $34.4 billion in 2004 to $41 billion in 2009; public transportation funding grows from $7.3 billion in 2004 to $10.3 billion in 2009.
  • Retaining the $6 billion “Projects of National and Regional Significance” program.
  • The bill does not yet include the minimum guarantee provisions which address state donor-donee issues. Like the previous bill, however, this bill includes a “re-opener” provision to cut off highway funding after two years to allow lawmakers to add more funding to the program in the future. The bill does not contain projects.

    To see the American Public Works Association's priorities for reauthorization, visit www.apwa.net/advocacy.