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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Mica to introduce transportation authorization bill details this week, APTA says


House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) tentatively plans to unveil details on his six-year surface transportation authorization bill this week, according to an American Public Transportation Association (APTA) legislative alert issued July 1. The bill is expected to be formally introduced during the week of July 11, with committee markup scheduled for the week of July 25.

Limited to the confines of the House-passed budget resolution that was developed by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) — which requires transportation program cuts of more than 30 percent vs. current levels — Mica’s six-year proposal likely will include an authorized funding level of $230 billion, according to the alert.

“This is the funding level that the committee believes can be sustained by revenues deposited into the Highway Trust Fund over that period, assuming no increases in revenue or additional general fund transfers,” APTA officials said in the alert. “The bill will also authorize funding to be appropriated from the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury for specific programs, although how this impacts the New Starts program and other General Fund surface transportation programs has not yet been detailed.”

The authorization bill is not expected to include Mica’s recent proposal to privatize passenger-rail service in the Northeast Corridor. The latest SAFETEA-LU extension expires Sept. 30.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/5/2011