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FY 2015 Appropriations

FY 2015 Appropriations

On June 10, 2014, the House passed its FY 2015 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill. The House bill provides funding levels consistent with the approved FY 2014 funding levels:

  • Total FY 2015 Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) – $313,000,000
    • Basic MCSAP – $218,000,000
    • New Entrant Safety Audits – $32,000,000
    • High Priority Grants – $15,000,000
  • Border Enforcement Grants – $32,000,000
  • Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks Deployment (CVISN) – $25,000,000
  •   Performance and Registration Information System Management program (PRISM) – $5,000,000
  • Safety Data Improvement Grants – $3,000,000
  • Commercial Driver’s License Improvements Program (CDL) – $30,000,000

The bill includes language prohibiting funds from being used to “acquire a camera for the purpose of collecting or storing vehicle license plate numbers.” The bill also includes a number of proposed changes to current truck size and weight restrictions, as well as changes to the Hazardous Materials Special Permit Application process.

Funding in the Senate bill, which was being considered this week, is nearly identical to the House bill, with the one exception being the Safety Data Improvement grants. However, Senators Murray (D-WA) and Collins (R-ME) have offered an amendment to raise that program to $3 million.

  • Total FY 2015 Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) – $313,000,000
    • Basic MCSAP – $218,000,000
    • New Entrant Safety Audits – $32,000,000
    • High Priority Grants – $15,000,000
  • Border Enforcement Grants – $32,000,000
  • Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks Deployment (CVISN) – $25,000,000
  • Performance and Registration Information System Management program (PRISM) – $5,000,000
  • Safety Data Improvement Grants – $1,000,000
  • Commercial Driver’s License Improvements Program (CDL) – $30,000,000

In addition, Senator Booker (D-NJ) has offered an amendment that would strike language included in the bill that would suspend funding for enforcement of the HOS restart provisions for a year while the rules are studied by FMCSA. CVSA supports the Booker amendment, as a temporary suspension of a portion of the HOS regulation would complicate enforcement and lead to confusion and inconsistency in the field. CVSA is not opposed to Congress directing FMCSA to conduct a study of the rules.

However, the Senate has suspended consideration of its appropriation measure, due to a disagreement between party leadership over how to handle amendments. It is unclear at this point when or if the Senate will be able to move forward with the funding measure. If they are not able to reach agreement before the August recess, a Continuing Resolution into FY 2015 will likely be necessary.

Transportation Bill

Both the House and Senate are working on proposals to fund a short term stop gap measure to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent. The lengths of the proposals range from the end of the calendar year to the end of the 2015 fiscal year. Both chambers are working to identify sufficient funds to keep the account solvent. Meanwhile, work continues on both sides of the Hill on a long term bill as well. However, the funding issue continues to loom large and passage of a bill before the current program expires is almost impossible at this point. An extension of the program will likely be necessary before the end of the fiscal year.