House submits TEA-LU

News ACPA November 21, 2003
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Leaders of the U

Leaders of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee announced their six-year proposal for the reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).

The proposal, named the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (TEA-LU), would provide a significant boost to the U.S. economy, improve the quality of life of all Americans through reduced congestion and enhanced safety, and reverse the decline in the physical conditions of the nation's surface transportation infrastructure, according to a statement issued by T&I Committee Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska); Ranking Democrat Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.); Highways, Transit and Pipelines Subcommittee Chairman Tom Petri (R-Wis.); and Subcommittee Ranking Democrat Bill Lipinski (D-Ill.).

Although the proposed bill does not address how investments would be financed, Young emphasized that all revenue enhancement options are still being discussed, adding he is still pushing a user-fee increase. The bill's guaranteed funding levels and revenue provisions are expected to be added soon.

An executive summary of the bill provided the following details:

* Authorizes $375 billion for surface transportation improvements--$298.7 billion for highways ($39.8 billion in FY 2004 growing to $59.2 billion in 2009);

* Ensures all states receive at least a 95% return on their contributions to the Highway Trust Fund by 2009;

* Establishes a congestion relief program that would focus state action on relieving traffic congestion by removing roadway bottlenecks, maximizing roadway capacity and implementing timelines for congestion relief projects;

* Provide $1.5 billion for a program that would fund construction of dedicated truck-only lanes; and

* Establish a new $17.6 billion program for projects of national and regional significance.


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