House-Senate Negotiators Complete Transportation-HUD Appropriations Conference Report

From the APTA Legislative Alert: (click here for full article)

THUD Bill Will Serve As Vehicle For Omnibus Appropriations – $10.7 Billion Provided For Transit – $2.5 billion For High Speed Rail!

On Tuesday, December 8, 2009, House-Senate Conferees approved a conference report to accompany the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) appropriations bill.  The legislation was approved by the House on Thursday, December 10, and is expected to pass the Senate, and be sent to the President for his signature prior to the December 18 expiration of the current “Continuing Resolution.”  The FY 2010 THUD appropriations conference report will also serve as an omnibus appropriations bill carrying four other appropriations bills which had yet to be completed.  This is the first part of a two stage plan by the Congress to complete work on its remaining appropriations bills, with the FY 2010 Defense appropriations bill the final measure awaiting completion.  

The THUD Appropriations bill contains $10.7 billion for transit programs- an all time high.  The legislation does not, however, provide specific program funding distributions for the formula and bus programs, instead leaving those decision to the authorizing committees in future legislation.  While adoption of the appropriations legislation by the House is a positive development, the legislation does not include a further extension of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), which is also required to allow the FY 2010 funds to be distributed to transit agencies.  It is expected the Defense bill, which is under development and expected to be taken up next week, will serve as the vehicle for a further extension of surface transportation authorization law.  In addition, the Defense appropriations bill could contain a “Jobs Bill” that would provide additional transportation infrastructure investment.

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