Yesterday (May 13), APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas sent a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, as well as the Subcommittees on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) outlining APTA’s public transportation and passenger rail priorities as the committees move forward in the appropriations process for fiscal year (FY) 2020. To view the letter to the House Appropriations Committee leaders, please click here. To view the letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee leaders, please click here.
House Expected to Pass the Transit Security Grant Program Flexibility Act
Tuesday evening (May 14), the House of Representative is expected to pass H.R. 1313, the Transit Security Grant Program Flexibility Act. APTA has been supportive of similar legislation in previous Congresses. While Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not estimated a cost for this bill, similar legislation in the past has determined no significant cost to the bill.
- Extends the period of availability of Transit Security Grants from 36 months to 55 months or more for security improvements to public transportation systems that are in final design or under construction, or for stations and other transit infrastructure;
- Allow grants provided for operational purposes to be used to backfill positions when employees attend security training; and
- Requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to issue a report to Congress on the grant program, including the types of projects it has funded; how projects address threats to transportation; how the grants are administered; and whether any changes result from the bill. The report, which must include recommendations to improve the program, is due within a year after the date of enactment, with an updated report due within five years of the date of enactment.
To view the bill, please click here.
House T&I Committee Leaders Urge Repeal of Highway Rescission
Last Wednesday (May 8), the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I), and Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, and Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) urging any budget agreement to repeal the looming highway rescission from the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) (P.L. 114-94). The rescission, section 1438 of the FAST Act, will go into effect on July 1, 2020, barring a legislative fix. This section rescinds approximately $7.6 billion in Federal-aid Highway Program contract authority, which will impact all 50 states. This rescission will impact each state differently, but will make significant cuts to highway programs, including those with flexible funds, which can be used for public transportation purposes.
APTA has long-advocated repealing the rescission from the FAST Act. On September 22, 2018, APTA’s Board of Directors adopted a specific recommendation to repeal the FAST Act rescission. To view the Additional Recommendations to APTA’s Finance Principles adopted by the Board, please click here. For the provision specifically addressing the highway rescission, please see page 3.
To view the letter to House Leadership, please click here.
APTA Summary of Transit Worker and Pedestrian Protection Act
Many APTA members have asked questions and expressed concerns about H.R. 1139, the “Transit Worker and Pedestrian Protection Act”. Other members have expressed support for the bill. APTA staff have developed a Fact Sheet to summarize the bill’s requirements. APTA will continue to discuss the potential significant impacts of the bill through the Legislative Committee and other committees of APTA.
To view the APTA summary, please click here.