After months of political wrangling, Congress last week finally passed a deal on transportation funding that should deliver close to a billion dollars to Connecticut.
Passage of the $127 billion Highway and Transit Bill (H.R. 4348) will help Connecticut improve its aging infrastructure and create hundreds of construction jobs in the state. Connecticut’s share is about $977 million in funding until Sept. 2013.
The bill extends federal highway, rail and transit programs for 27 months, with $120 billion in spendingfinanced by existing federal gasoline and diesel taxes and about $19 billion in transfers from the U.S. Treasury.
It’s a significant deal for Connecticut. Like many other states, Connecticut relies heavily on federal dollars for numerous transportation infrastructure projects. In fact, about half of Connecticut's transportation spending is comprised of federal money.
According to the U.S. Chamber, the funding-extension bill also includes a number of key reforms:
- Gives states the flexibility to target federal funds where they are most needed
- Helps to draw more private investment into infrastructure
- Consolidates overlapping and duplicative federal reforms
- Streamlines the project delivery process
Not included in the final bill was a measure requiring government approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline—and issue that was one of the longstanding roadblocks to agreement.
However, National Association of Manufacturers President CEO Jay Timmons thanked the Senate and House leadership for the dealthat will help manufacturers remain competitive, spur job growth and help fund resources needed for our nation’s roads and transit systems.