AASHTO Sends USDOT Blueprint for IIJA Implementation

April 11, 2022

Paper reminds federal government that state DOTs are willing to partner with executive branch

Officials from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation sent a 30-page paper to the U.S. Department of Transportation, outlining the association's recommendations for how to implement the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, according to a press release from AASHTO

AASHTO's officials noted that "delivery is paramount" to the IIJA's success and reminded the federal government that state DOTs are willing to partner with the executive branch to ensure that the law's vision is realized. 

State DOTs are in the best position to achieve the IIJA's goals, according to AASHTO. 

“Continuing and reinforcing the longstanding partnership between the USDOT and the states is our best opportunity to achieve outcomes that are fundamentally agreed upon between USDOT and state DOTs,” AASHTO's officials said in its paper.

To that end, AASHTO’s major implementation recommendations on behalf of state DOTs revolve around managing the funds flowing from the IIJA.

“Mixing three types of budget authority – General Fund advance appropriations, General Fund subject to appropriations, and Highway Trust Fund contract authority – for so many programs, both existing and new, creates financial management challenges for state DOTs and other eligible entities,” AASHTO's officials noted. “We request USDOT to work with state DOTs to make these ‘colors of money’ as easy to administer as possible.”

Since each state is different, AASHTO's officials emphasized that, where a range of possible legislative interpretations exist, the USDOT should provide interpretations that allow each state to best meet its unique needs, especially when it comes to allocating federal transportation funding.

Funding issues become more complicated when in regards to the discretionary grant programs, as the IIJA significantly increased both the number of grant programs and their funding levels – programs that often support critical Congressional priorities.


Source: AASHTO

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