House Passes Highway Reauthorization Conference Bill; Senate Expected to Act by Tomorrow
The following is a brief summary of key provisions affecting the states. A more detailed analysis will be sent once we have reviewed the complete text of Title IV in HR 3.
CVSA Decal (Section 4137):
Reaffirms the CVSA decal program by specifying that: “The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance may not restrict the sale of any inspection decal to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration unless the Administration fails to meet its responsibilities under its memorandum of understanding with the Alliance (other than a failure due to the Administration’s compliance with Federal law).
Increases the allocation from $188,000,000 in 2006 to $209,000,000 in 2009. TEA-21 ceiling was $169,000,000.
CDL State Grants (4101):
Funds the program at $25,000,000 annually from 2006 through 2009 (100% money) for the purpose of assisting the states to comply with the requirements in MCSIA’99. State grant application should include a self-assessment of its CDL program.
State Border Grants (4101):
Funds the program at $32,000,000 annually from 2006 through 2009 (100% money). Physical infrastructure is considered an eligible expense.
Funds the program at $5,000,000 annually from 2006 to 2009.
Funds the program at $25 million annually from 2006 to 2009 and affirms it as a state grant program administered by FMCSA. It was a discretionary program within FHWA.
Safety Data Improvement Grants (4101):
Funds the program at $2,000,000 in 2006 and at $3,000,000 annually from 2007 to 2009.
Maintenance of Effort (4106):
It is to be based on the average of the three fiscal years beginning on October 1 of the 5th year prior to each fiscal year. As an example, for 2005, go back to 2000 and calculate the average of 1997, 1998, and 1999.
Traffic Enforcement (4106):
MCSAP funds can be used for traffic enforcement against trucks (not tied to an inspection) and cars as long as basic truck inspections are maintained at the average of those done in 2003, 2004, and 2005 and the amount of funds does not exceed 5% of the MCSAP grant unless the Secretary determines a higher % will improve safety.
High Priority Takedown (4107):
Can be allowed up to $15,000,000 annually and at least 90% of the amount shall be allocated to states as opposed to private entities (to guard against earmarks).
New Entrants (4107):
Provides for a line item under MCSAP at $29,000,000 annually. It is 100% money.
The more detailed provision of the Senate was adopted specifying a rulemaking within 120 days of passage of the bill to ensure that equipment used to transport an intermodal chassis is safe. The rulemaking must address a way to identify the equipment owner, a civil penalty structure, a petition process, and an inspection system.
CDLIS Modernization (4123):
The more detailed provision of the Senate was adopted specifying what the modernization should include. It is funded at $5,000,000 in 2006; $7,000,000 in 2007; $8,000,000 in 2008 and $9,000,000 in 2009.
Uniform Carrier Registration System (Sections 4301 to 4308):
The Senate version was adopted providing replacement funding to the states to be used for motor carrier safety including the MCSAP match.
Agricultural Commodities (4130): Adopts the “relatively” more narrow version of the Senate that does not include processed foods.
Utilities(4132): Unfortunately adopts the provisions in both the original Senate and House bill providing for a total exemption.
Well Water Diggers (4132): Reaffirms the 24 hours restart provision for this group.
Movie Producers (4133): Keeps them under the old rules.
Grape Growers (4146): Seasonal hours-of-service exemption is extended to 150 miles west of Interstate 81 in New York state.
Propane and Pipeline Repair Drivers (4147): Propane drivers are exempt during the winter heating season and pipeline repair drivers are exempt en route to emergency repairs.