Highway Bill Signed into Law
Just as federal infrastructure funding was about to run out, President Obama signed into law a 5-year, $305 billion Highway Bill which Congress approved with strong bipartisan support. After years of short-term efforts, this bill features the first transportation funding since 2005 to last longer than two years.
The bill, also known as the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act,” is intended to improve surface transportation infrastructure, reform and refocus programs on addressing national priorities, maintain a strong commitment to safety and promote innovation. In addition, the bill is to give state and local governments greater certainty about transportation funding so they can plan crucial projects.
Though it received strong support, Congress struggled with funding the bill for the 5-year duration. For now funding is set to come from a combination of gas tax revenue and a package of $70 billion in offsets from other areas of the federal budget. However, a future Congress and president will need to determine how to permanently fund the bill’s priorities.