President Biden has announced a $2.3 trillion plan regarding infrastructure improvements. The plan invests $571 billion in transportation including $85B for public transit. For the first time since 2010, congressional earmarks are being included in the appropriations process.
Each member of the House of Representatives can include up to 10 funding requests including prioritization of the requests submitted. Requests should be between $50,000 – $7million and represent broad community support. It is highly encouraged that projects receive letters of support from a variety of community stakeholders. The deadline for all appropriation requests to be filed is 4/30/21. Many House members may set earlier deadlines or have a submission process available on their websites. (See link to Bush and Cleaver below). These earmarks fall under the Community Projects Process. Funding for any projects submitted is not guaranteed. The more complete and thorough the application, the better the chances are of funding.
Additionally, Congressional members will have the ability to earmark larger, long term funding priorities under the FAST Act Reauthorization Process. Members will have the ability to prioritize up to 5 projects and can expect to be able to allocate between $15 -20million in funding to those projects. It is probable that the spending will be authorized over 5 years. Flexibility will be given to Congressional members to use on one project or spread it among all five projects. Projects must be part of an approved Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) or Statewide Transport Improvement Program (STIP) and will need letters of support from a local transit agency as well as a description of the process utilized for the opportunity for public comments.
For Missouri transit providers, the best course of action is to contact your congressional representative directly to better understand the process they will be utilizing to identify and prioritize Community Projects and Reauthorization funds. Currently only Reps. Bush and Cleaver have links to the process on their websites.