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States wary of possible changes to highway funding

States wary of possible changes to highway funding

Broad scope of House Democrats’ infrastructure blueprint could hurt chances of passage
By Jacob Fischler
Posted February 7, 2020 at 6:30am

State transportation leaders applauded House Democrats for releasing principles of a broad infrastructure package last week, but were concerned about potential changes to the formula programs that determine funding levels for each state.

Although there is some concern that the broad scope of the Democrats’ $760 billion legislative “framework” could hurt chances of passage, state leaders also applauded the ambition. In addition to reauthorizing federal highways and transit programs, the plan would also change how harbors and airports are funded, boost spending on broadband access and charging stations for electric vehicles, and seek to make all forms of transportation carbon-neutral.

The larger concern is over tweaks to formulas states say work fairly well. The Democrats’ plan — released last week by Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon, Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey and Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts — includes a section saying they would amend “core highway formula programs to prioritize investments and improve program implementation.” FULL ARTICLE

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