Senate-Passed Transportation Funding Bill Includes $1 Billion in Infrastructure Grants

By on August 7, 2018

From Transport Topics:  Legislation that would provide $1 billion in infrastructure grants and would extend the electronic logging device waiver for livestock haulers for the next fiscal year easily passed the Senate on Aug. 1.

The fiscal 2019 transportation measure that includes funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development was part of a $154.2 billion package approved 92-6. The package had the measures for the departments of Interior, and Agriculture, as well as financial and environmental agencies.

The $1 billion for BUILD infrastructure grants, formerly TIGER grants, would require officials to award 30% of the grants for rural areas. Over the years, policymakers have applauded the grants for supplementing big-ticket projects of regional significance, which state and municipal officials noted they had struggled to fund. Recipients have included the Port of Baltimore and regional railways in Maine.

“At its core, much in this bill is about creating jobs and security for our fellow Americans,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), the bill’s sponsor. “If the infrastructure is crumbling, it is very difficult for a business to hire the employees that produce goods and to get those products to markets.”

The legislation, as amended, would deny funds for the enforcement of the electronic logging device rule for livestock haulers during fiscal 2019. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), the amendment’s sponsor, explained the waiver would give policymakers “more time to bring common sense to these rules and provide additional flexibility.”

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