By Lauren Schapker, vice president of legislative affairs, ARTBA
ARTBA and 40 allied organizations are asking congressional leaders to provide $37 billion in immediate aid to state departments of transportation (DOTs). The request is $12.5 billion less than an earlier assessment of state DOT revenue shortfalls by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The revised figure reflects a more optimistic view of state transportation revenue forecasts.
The groups made their request in a July 20 letter as Senate Republicans and the Trump administration tackled another COVID-19 relief package. Their draft legislation is expected the week of July 27, though aid for states or state DOTs is not expected at this stage. The House passed a relief package in May, called the HEROES Act, which would provide $15 billion to state DOTs through Sept. 30.
Once Republicans outline their preferences for the package, bipartisan negotiations can begin with the goal of passing a bill in August.
To date, more than $9 billion in projects in 15 states have been delayed or cancelled due to the strain of declining revenues, according to ARTBA’s analysis, which is updated regularly in the association’s Members Only section. Forty-three states have publicly projected revenue declines.
ARTBA will continue to work with allies on Capitol Hill to provide support for state DOTs, as well as to urge action on a multiyear surface transportation bill.