A tough match

News AASHTO Journal October 03, 2001
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Impetus for an economic stimulus package grew this week as Congress and the Administration focused on developing a legislative

Impetus for an economic stimulus package grew this week as Congress and the Administration focused on developing a legislative initiative to boost the flagging economy. Transportation advocates are proposing the package include a $5 billion highway component that could create more than 88,000 jobs.


Some $20.5 billion remains in the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund as of June 30. Legislation to provide additional obligation authority would allow money to flow to the states without opening up controversial issues of distribution formulas. Because many states find themselves in difficult financial straits, the package might also be crafted to allow states to defer a state match of federal funding.


Last week, the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials sent out a survey to state DOTs asking them to report the number, types and dollar amounts of highway and bridge projects that are programmed, but for which funds are not currently available. States were asked to identify only those projects which could be obligated within 30 to 90 days from enactment of legislation, which would have short-term economic impact through job creation and long-term economic benefits. The intent of the program would be to increase the state's construction programs over and above work already funded.


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