The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee recently marked up a technical corrections bill to amend the SAFETEA-LU legislation, which among other provisions, funds the Strategic Highway Research Program II (SHRP II) from funds drawn down from highway formula programs and fully funds the research and technology programs in the authorization for highway research.
Also, with the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission facing a July 2007 deadline for a complete report on future highway funding, the EPW bill extends its work until January 2008. The commission, looking into the nation's surface transportation and funding sources for the next 30 years, meets Sept. 20-21 in Dallas for field hearings.
The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials supported this correction, as it will provide a dedicated stream of funding to conduct the SHRP II research. Funding for University Transportation Research Center grants also was increased in the corrections bill, from $2.225 million to $2.250 million.
The bill also contains a number of other corrections to project titles and other features to align current law with the intent of the drafters.
The bill, H.R. 5689, now moves onto the full Senate, which has not yet scheduled action on the bill. In June, the House passed its version of H.R. 5689.