If you have the brainspace and stomach for it, here’s an update from Metro CEO Art Leahy and the agency’s government relations team on efforts to keep the federal Highway Trust Fund solvent:
U.S. House of Representatives Bill Would Fully Fund Federal Highway Trust Fund Through May 2015
Earlier today [Tuesday], legislation was introduced in the U.S House of Representatives by the Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means that would fully fund the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) through May 2015. The bill (H.R. 5021) offered by Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) would derive approximately $6.5 billion in new revenues from “pension smoothing” and another $3.5 billion from extending custom fees until 2024. Critics of the legislation have noted that the bill raises revenues over a 10 year period to ensure the solvency of the HTF for only the next 10 months.
The House Committee on Ways and Means is expected to hold a markup of H.R. 5021 this Thursday.
Also this week, the Senate Committee on Finance, led by Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking member Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) may act on their own version of a bill to ensure the solvency of the HTF. The Senate proposal, while not finalized, is expected to raise approximately $8 billion in new revenues, which would keep the HTF solvent through December of this year.
Please find here the text of H.R. 5021. We will continue to communicate our high level of interest on this matter with members of the Los Angeles County Congressional Delegation.
Why does this matter? See this post that explains how a depleted federal Highway Trust Fund could eventually result in service cuts at Metro and other financial impacts.