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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Governors coalition calls on Congress to institute long-term surface transportation bill


Governors from several states are pressing Congress to pass a long-term surface transportation bill before the current legislation expires Oct. 29.

Last week, the Coalition of Northeastern Governors sent a letter to leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure and Ways and Means committees imploring them to pass legislation “expeditiously” that would ensure the continuity and stability of federal funding for highway, rail, transit and safety programs.

"Our states make major investments in the surface transportation networks that link communities, states, regions and the nation," the governors wrote. "Infrastructure provides the backbone of both the northeastern and national economies, and a robust, sustained federal commitment to infrastructure investment is essential for economic opportunity and overall quality of life."

The Senate has passed a six-year bill that includes three years of funding and President Obama has proposed his own six-year funding program. The House, however, has not yet passed a bill.

"We strongly urge ongoing negotiations to develop a long-term, fully-funded surface transportation authorization bill that will ensure the federal government remains a consistent funding partner," the governors wrote.

The letter — which also was sent to relevant Senate committees — was signed by Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, and Massachusetts Gov. Charles Baker, a Republican. The coalition also includes governors from Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Congress is scheduled to return this week from the August recess.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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