AASHTO letter renews call for Congressional emergency aid to state DOTs

Oct. 7, 2020

AASHTO previously requested the same amount in COVID-19 relief back in July

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) renewed its call for Congress to provide $37 billion in emergency funding for state DOTs across the country.

An Oct. 5 letter from AASHTO Executive Director Jim Tymon to Congressional leadership requests COVID-19 funding assistance to help prevent cancellations and delays of vital transportation projects as well as potential job losses both in the state DOT workforce and the private sector. AASHTO previously requested the same amount in COVID-19 transportation relief in a July 20 letter to Congress.

"Since the beginning of the pandemic in March, state DOTs continue to face severe losses in dedicated user fee revenues including motor fuel taxes," the letter states. "These transportation-specific revenues are outside of a state’s general fund and comprise the foundation of every statewide transportation investment program. With the prolonged erosion of state transportation revenues, the ability of state DOTs to carry out their core functions such as delivering capital and construction programs, safely operating their transportation systems, maintaining a state of good repair, and meeting payroll and administrative needs remain threatened."

The letter to Congress emphasizes gratitude from the association for the passage of a one-year FAST Act extension. However, the letter states, without the requested $37 billion in additional federal funding assistance, the important surface transportation program stability provided by this extension could be jeopardized.

In the July letter, AASHTO said the association estimates state transportation revenue losses of $37 billion over five years, with an estimated loss of $16 billion in FY 2020.