The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) today issued the following statement from executive director John Horsley regarding House T&I chairman Mica's Surface Transportation Bill briefing:
"Chairman Mica's bill is the first step in the process to pass a new long-term surface transportation bill that is desperately needed to maintain our national transportation system. This proposed legislation features many reforms that state departments of transportation support including: consolidation of federal transportation programs resulting in greater focus on our core mission; strategies that will accelerate project delivery so states can deliver critical transportation projects faster; tools to leverage transportation funds so states can generate more value from public infrastructure investments; and distribution of nearly all federal highway funding by formula to state DOTs. States will work with Congress to assure that each state receives an equitable share of funding.
We continue to have concerns about the proposed funding levels included in the bill, but we also realize that this is the start of a process that will include not only the House, but also the Senate and the Administration.
Timely action on this bill is important. Not only does the authorization for the highway and transit programs expire September 30, 2011, but so too does the legislation authorizing the revenue to fund these programs. We urge the House and Senate to move the legislative process regarding reauthorization of this program forward as swiftly as possible so bills can be passed in both bodies and final legislation can be presented to the President for signature prior to the September 30 expiration date."