Blog Topic: National Policy & Advocacy

Federal Policy Hodgepodge: Transportation Spending, GHG Rule, and Updated State Ratings!

After waiting until nearly halfway through FY2018 to set spending levels, Congress is out of the gate quickly on the FY19 appropriations process.  The process of setting spending levels is easier this year, because the FY18 spending package included a two-year agreement on funding levels that were significantly more generous than what the Trump administration had proposed.  As an example, the transportation-housing spending max spending level for FY19 is more than $1 billion higher than the FY18 cap, which was already a significant increa

Different Name, Similar Program: TIGER Morphs into BUILD

The US Department of Transportation has announced that the long-standing TIGER program, in which USDOT awards up to $25 million apiece to multimodal transportation projects across the country, has been renamed the BUILD program. The renaming of TIGER signals USDOT’s intention to put the Trump administration’s stamp on it.

In the final funding deal for FY2018, Congress provided $1.5 billion for TIGER, which is triple what has been available in recent years. TIGER’s new name comes with a few new programmatic tweaks:

It’s Time for Safe Routes to School Programs to Start Saying #MeToo

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Over the past few months, a wave of righteous anger and adamant rejection of widespread sexual harassment has brought down more than 100 powerful men in a long overdue reckoning.  As a society, we are wading into the turbulent waters created by centuries of ignoring women’s pain and humiliation while blaming women for male harassment.  Unsurprisingly, the results are messy. 

Congress Rejects Big Budget Cuts

Six months into fiscal year 2018, Congress has finally set spending levels for federal agencies and programs.  The $1.3 trillion omnibus appropriations bill includes great news for many programs for which the Trump administration proposed elimination or significant cuts.

White House Releases Backwards Infrastructure Package and Spending Priorities

A week ago, Congress reached agreement on overall spending caps, which would allow for significant increases in defense and domestic spending in FY2018 and FY2019.  Their agreement includes an additional $10 billion per year for two years to put towards different kinds of infrastructure investments (broader than just transportation).  Congress now has about six weeks to divide those overall increases into the funding allocations for federal programs and agencies.

What We Value for Any Infrastructure Package

On January 30, President Trump delivered his state of the union. A few sentences in his speech referenced the long-delayed infrastructure package, as he called on Congress to pass a bill that would pair any Federal dollars with state, local, and private investments to “build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways.”