The board of directors of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials approved 10 detailed resolutions outlining the surface transportation funding policy positions the organization plans to support as that key federal legislation needs to be reauthorized in 2020.
[Above photo by Cathy Morrison/MoDOT.]
The current 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation or FAST Act is set to expire in September 2020 and proposed reauthorization legislation that would replace it – the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019 – was approved by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in late July.
AASHTO’s resolutions cover a broad swath of issues, outlining the organization’s “vision” and “core principles” when it comes to reauthorization, as well as the need to promote safety, ensure long-term sustainable funding solutions, maintain formula funding, improve flexibility, reduce program burdens, improve project delivery, harness innovation and technology, plus support research and development investments.
“The federal-state partnership – which has long been the foundation of our nation’s approach to a national transportation system – is absolutely critical to meet state capital investment programs for transportation, which take multiple years to plan and construct,” noted Patrick McKenna, director of the Missouri DOT and AASHTO’s 2019-2020 president, at the meeting.
“We suffered through federal funding instability from 2005 to 2015 and we do not wish to go through that again,” he added. “Getting a bill through Congress this year at this time will not be easy yet getting a 21-0 [EPW] committee vote in support of reauthorization legislation was critical. Through these resolutions we hope to develop a common sense of purpose and urgency so we do not go through a series of continuing funding resolutions again over a decade’s worth of time.”