Some outstanding news today: President Obama has endorsed the America Fast Forward bonds proposal as part of his plan to improve the nation's infrastructure. The White House fact sheet is below and here's the update from Metro's government relations staff:
This morning, the White House released a fact sheet concerning President Obama's “Plan to Make America a Magnet for Jobs by Investing in Infrastructure.” This fact sheet contains a 7-point plan, which includes a provision to enact America Fast Forward Bonds.The document also includes a provision to implement the newly expanded TIFIA program (part of our Board-approved Federal Legislative program), which was included last year in MAP-21's America Fast Forward section. Our Government Relations team will continue to work with the Obama Administration (both at the White House and USDOT) and both Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to advance our Board-approved Federal Legislative Program. Please also find here a brochure on our America Fast Forward Transportation Bond initiative that was previously shared with all Board members.
America Fast Forward (AFF) is an initiative by Metro and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to expand transportation funding in order to accelerate projects here in Los Angeles County and around the nation. AFF has two parts: the first is an expanded federal loan program that Congress adopted last year; it features government-backed low-interest loans.
The other part is a bond program that would provide very low-cost bonds to transportation agencies in exchange for tax credits to those who sell the bonds. The above graphic explains it best.
As the White House notes, the AFF bond program is modeled on the Build America Bonds that were part of the stimulus bill in 2009 to help revive the country's economy. The White argues that AFF bonds would attract new capital for transportation projects and would better distribute funds throughout the U.S.