Today, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 7010, the “Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020”, which amends the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The bill extends the covered period for loan forgiveness from eight weeks after loan origination to 24 weeks after loan origination; expands loan maturity from two years to five years; and lowers the payroll use requirement for forgiveness from 75 percent to 60 percent. The bill also includes a new “hold harmless” provision aimed at preserving loan forgiveness for an employer that is unable to rehire its original employees to return to work. The Senate is expected to consider similar legislation in the coming weeks. Please click here for more information on SBA’s PPP.

Please click here to view the bill.

U.S. House Passes Heroes Act

On May 15, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6800, “The Heroes Act”, a fourth package of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response emergency funding. The Heroes Act includes $15.75 billion in emergency funding for public transportation, including $11.75 billion in formula grants to 14 very large urbanized areas and $4 billion for Emergency Relief grants. Please click here to view APTA’s table of estimated apportionments for the $11.75 billion of formula grants. For a more detailed description of the Heroes Act, please see APTA’s May 13 Legislative Alert.

Amtrak Requests $1.5 Billion of Supplemental FY 2021 Funding

On May 25, Amtrak sent a request to Congress for an additional $1.475 billion in supplemental FY 2021 funding as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will allow Amtrak to maintain minimum service levels across its network, provide funding to it in lieu of state and commuter payments, and continue its program of capital investment for the future.

Please click here to view Amtrak’s request.

Senator Markey Introduces Warren Cowles Grade Crossing Safety Act

On May 23, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) announced the introduction of S. 3463, the “Warren Cowles Grade Crossing Safety Act”. This legislation provides $250 million per year in funding for grade-crossing safety improvements under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) program and makes commuter railroads eligible for CRISI grade-crossing safety funds. This bill reflects APTA’s Recommendation to provide specific funding to commuter railroads for passenger rail-highway grade-crossing safety and APTA has endorsed the bill.

Please click here to view the bill.

APTA Joins Coalition Letter Urging Action on Surface Transportation Authorization

On May 1, APTA joined 70 organizations in sending a letter to President Trump advocating for increased federal infrastructure investment. The letter specifically notes that the ongoing, bipartisan efforts to advance multi-year surface transportation authorization bills on Capitol Hill provide a “road map” for significant infrastructure investment at this critical time.

Please click here to read the letter.

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