2016-17 POLICY AND LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
The SASHTO Board of Directors met on August 30, 2016 and approved resolutions summarized in this Policy and Legislation Agenda. The full text of the resolutions is at Resolutions2016.pdf.
Transportation Funding Rescissions — SASHTO recommends that no rescission be enacted in 2017. States should be given full flexibility to apply any funding rescissions to their entire balance of unobligated contract authority or applying the rescission proportionally across every applicable program category.
Transportation Funding — the federal government must continue to seek stable and sustainable funding sources to ensure an integrated and multi-modal national surface transportation system. Funding levels in the FAST Act should be maintained at a minimum. Congress should ensure a seamless continuation of transportation authorizations that incorporates a fair, equitable, flexible and adequately funded distribution of federal funds.
Toll Interoperability — with growing interest among states to explore toll financing as a method to address current and future transportation improvement needs, SASHTO states should promote electronic toll collection interoperability among the toll agencies of their respective states and others. The development of enforceable reciprocity rules through state laws and/or regulations is also recommended.
National Highway System — the FAST Act failed to address the failure of many NHS routes to meet the description of the NHS nor provide any significant regional, state or national role(s). Congress should further revise the present system modification process to allow States, in consultation with local officials, to selectively remove and add mileage from the NHS in line with system criteria.
Transportation and the Economy — SASHTO recommends an expanded federal, state and private sector collaboration to reinvest in transportation infrastructure at levels that would steadily reduce the backlog of needs, reduce the cost of congestion, and spur economic growth. Congress should advance legislation that promotes and incentivizes varied public-private partnerships and private investments to expand transportation revenue.
Accelerated Project Delivery — SASHTO urges the federal government to continue efforts to accelerate project delivery and environmental streamlining, and to continue to direct, influence, and manage initiatives and improvements to further expedite environmental evaluations and decision-making and reduce unproductive regulatory burdens.
Tax Exempt Transportation Financing — the current financing of the federal surface transportation program is not sustainable and won’t address current and future transportation needs. SASHTO supports providing access to tax-exempt transportation financing, by increasing the federal volume cap on Private Activity Bonds. This will bring much needed private investment in transportation infrastructure.
Transportation Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act (TIFIA) — TIFIA credit assistance for major transportation investments provides enhanced access to capital markets, flexible repayment terms, and favorable interest rates. SASHTO believes that the TIFIA program is an essential element in meeting the nation’s transportation needs and urges that it be sustained at current levels.
National Performance Measures — SASHTO states are committed to performance management and performance measurement, but strongly oppose using performance measures to apportion federal funds among the states. States and MPOs should also have maximum flexibility in setting performance targets.
Leading Transportation Change and Innovation — States are laboratories for innovation. SASHTO states will continue to be innovation leaders creating, implementing and sharing solutions to meet the transportation challenges of today and the future. SASHTO will partner with all levels of government and other stakeholders to foster an innovative and collaborative problem solving climate.
New Partnerships — SASHTO states commit to greater collaboration with the Southern Governors Association, the Southern Legislative Conference, the private sector and others to advocate common transportation policies, strategies, and solutions to meet our transportation needs.
MPO Coordination and Planning Area Reform — SASHTO fully supports the comments of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials on the June 27, 2016 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Metropolitan Planning Organization Coordination and Planning Area Reform.