Davis Introduces Legislation to Waive State and Local Share of Federally-Funded Highway Projects
The Highway Relief Act empowers the Secretary of Transportation to fund up to 100% of highway projects in FY 2021 and 2022
U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today introduced the Highway Relief Act, which empowers the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to fund up to 100% of federally-funded highway projects in Fiscal Years 2021 and 2022, waiving the state and local share of these projects.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put great financial strain on state government budgets, including state departments of transportation,” said Rep. Davis. “My legislation will protect and create new construction jobs and provide a much-needed cash infusion to ensure state highway projects continue as planned. This is just one of many ways the federal government can assist state DOTs. I’d like to thank Congressional leaders for including a one-year extension of surface transportation reauthorization in the CR, but as we negotiate and debate another comprehensive COVID-19 relief package, we must absolutely include additional relief for state DOTs so we can continue to make investments in our nation’s infrastructure.”
“While having Congress provide much-needed direct federal funding to state departments of transportation is AASHTO’s top priority in any COVID relief bill, the ability to utilize 100 percent federal share for transportation projects is a critical policy provision to help manage state transportation revenues hit hard by the pandemic.” - Jim Tymon, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact state DOT budgets as vehicle miles travelled are down, resulting in less motor fuel tax revenue. When state revenues are down, the state’s ability to make their state match to federally funded projects could be jeopardized.
To ensure continued state transportation project implementation, this bill would provide the U.S. Secretary of Transportation discretionary authority to increase the federal cost share for federal-aid highway projects to 100 percent, for FY21-22. This authority will assist state DOTs to continue their transportation programming while preserving and increasing jobs. Specifically, this bill provides the Secretary of Transportation discretionary authority to increase the federal cost-share of projects under title 23, United States Code, to 100 percent for federal-aid highway projects for FY21-22.
You can find the text of Rep. Davis’ bill here.
H.R. 7248, The Surface Transportation Advanced through Reform, Technology, and Efficient Review Act, or STARTER Act, is T&I Republicans’ commonsense five-year surface transportation reauthorization bill to allow states and non-federal partners to more efficiently plan, expedite, and undertake important infrastructure projects, provide safer and more efficient movement of goods and people, and address infrastructure needs of communities of all sizes. The STARTER Act is the House Republican alternative to the Speaker’s partisan “My Way or the Highway” bill, which passed the House but was DOA in the Senate.
The STARTER Act focuses on key Republican principles for infrastructure: allowing for greater state flexibility, streamlining the project review and delivery process, prioritizing core programs, incorporating innovative developments in technology, ensuring equity for rural infrastructure needs, and addressing the long-term sustainability of the Highway Trust Fund.
In August, House Republican Leader McCarthy incorporated the STARTER Act as a key component of the “Commitment to America” and House Republicans’ promise to rebuild the greatest economy in America’s history. The House Republican Conference will continue to champion the priorities of the STARTER Act, including through the Highway Relief Act, which focuses on one key aspect of that broader legislation.