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Allison Dane Camden
Federal Relations Manager (360) 705-7507
CamdenA@wsdot.wa.gov 
 

 

Federal Funding and Policy

Federal funding is an important supplement and complement to state transportation funding, providing a projected 24% of WSDOT's 2009-11 capital budget, and about 29% of WSDOT's 2007-09 capital budget.

Federal transportation law establishes:

  • Federal transportation taxes and fees
  • Rules for spending federal funds
  • Distribution of federal funding among state and local agencies, and modes and programs
  • Safety and environmental regulations
  • Construction and operation guidelines

Resources and Links

Surface Transportation Authorization

The last surface transportation authorization legislation, SAFETEA-LU, expired on October 1, 2009 but has since been extended seven times. The most recent extension, P.L. 112-5, expires on September 30, 2011. While during the 111th Congress the Administration, Senate, and House could not agree on the timing for enacting a multi-year authorization bill, in the 112th Congress all three sides agree a bill must be acted upon but they disagree as to the length of the bill and the overall funding levels.
 
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has proposed a 6-year bill funded at approximately $230 billion, a roughly 35 percent cut over current funding levels. While there is no legislative text, a summary of the House proposal can be found on the Transportation and Infrastucture Committee's website. Conversely, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) has proposed a 2-year bill funded at roughly $109 billion, which continues current funding levels. A summary of the Senate proposal is available on the EPW Committee website

Congress must pass the eighth extension of SAFETEA-LU by September 30th, including an extension of the 18.4 cent federal gas tax. The Senate EPW Committee has indicated they are working on a four-month extension that will continue current program funding levels through the end of January 2012. While no extension proposal has been released in the House, it is expected that the next House SAFETEA-LU extension could significantly cut funding levels in order to match the House-passed Budget Resolution for FY2012, which calls for a 37 percent cut to federal highway, bridge and transit programs. A cut of that magnitude would not be sustainable for Washington State so we have created two documents to help inform the Washington congressional delegation on what a 37 percent cut would mean statewide.

The first document describes  (pdf 74kb) the impact of a 37 percent cut to the state highway system, the local system, and to the transit and ferry systems. The second document (pdf 895kb) is a map that shows examples of state highway projects that may be impacted by a 37 percent cut.

Appropriations

Fiscal Year 2011 (10/10 - 9/11)
Congress has been conducting hearings to learn more details about the Administration’s FY 2011 transportation budget. WA Representatives and Senators Cantwell and Murray have submitted project earmark requests to the Appropriations Committee. This does NOT guarantee an earmark. Some - but perhaps not all - of these requests will make it through the committee process and into the final bill. It’s unclear if the transportation appropriations bill can be enacted prior to October 1 st ; if not, a temporary extension of programs and funding will be enacted.

Fiscal Year 2010 (10/09 - 9/10)

This bill became law in late December 2009, and includes these earmarks for Washington state. Here is a short overview .

Fiscal Year 2009 (10/1/08 - 9/30/09)
This bill became law and includes these earmarks for Washington state .

ARRA

TIGER I :
Nearly $1.5 billion in grant awards were announced in February 2010. WA State received $35 million for US 395 North Spokane Corridor , and $30 million for the Mercer Corridor project in Seattle.

High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail : Nearly $8 billion in grant awards were announced in January 2010. WSDOT received $590 million for various projects.

For more ARRA news visit the WSDOT stimulus funding website.