However, NSSGA points out that finding the funds to pay for a $400 billion to $500 billion bill will be difficult. LaHood said that President Obama wants a bill that is bipartisan and fully paid for, but the funds are not there. LaHood said that in the interim, the DOT will push Congress to create a $4 billion infrastructure bank that is included in the administration’s FY 2011 budget and, that the secretary said the department would be soliciting proposals for how to spend $1 billion in discretionary spending this fiscal year, according to NSSGA.
American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President and CEO Pete Ruane says that the jobs bill passed on March 17 will stabilize the federal highway and public transportation programs to help maximize employment and economic activity in the 2010 construction season.
“The bill also pays back to the trust fund interest earnings sacrificed in 1998, and ensures that future interest generated will be dedicated for transportation infrastructure improvements,” Ruane said in a written statement. “…it ends the practice of penalizing the trust fund for fuel tax exemptions granted to certain users — creating approximately $1.5 billion in additional revenue annually to support infrastructure investment.
“Today’s vote was a victory, but we must keep our eye on the larger objective: passage this year of a robust, multi-year highway and transit authorization bill,” Ruane continued.
Peter Ruane, president and CEO of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), says “amidst the political games and wild pitches being thrown on Capitol Hill in recent weeks, there were three “important, but overlooked victories” on the transportation front contained in the new jobs bill.”
• The legislation pays back the Highway Trust Fund or almost 20 billion dollars in lost interest earnings since 1998. Any future interest gains from the trust fund will also be dedicated to transportation improvements.
• The bill ends the practice of penalizing the Highway Trust Fund for certain motor fuel tax exemptions. The General Fund will now incur these costs, which is expected to generate $1.5 billion in new annual trust fund revenue.
• It authorizes the highway and transit programs through Dec. 31, which will stabilize the transportation construction market for the rest of 2010.
MORE FROM AggBeat
SUBSCRIBE & FOLLOW
- Former gravel quarry-turned-landfill transforms into nature reserve521 Views
- North Carolina grants Martin Marietta water quality certification for limestone quarry250 Views
- Vulcan-blocking bill dies in Alabama legislature219 Views
- Road restrictions may stop quarry construction in Kentucky209 Views
- Vulcan shareholders reject board changes at annual meeting190 Views