SAFETEA-LU Extended to December 31, 2010
Yesterday, the Senate passed the “Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE)” Act, H.R. 2847, that included a provision to extend SAFETEA-LU through December 31, 2010 as well as providing the Highway Trust Fund $19.5 billion so it can meet its financial obligations through 2011. FMCSA and the state safety grant programs are funded from the Highway Trust Fund. The President is expected to sign the bill.
This extension will allow FMCSA to begin awarding full year funding for Fiscal Year 2010 to the States and Territories.
Whether a new Reauthorization bill will be passed by December 31 of this year is still questionable. However, both the Senate Environment and Public Works and Commerce Committees are now beginning work on a Reauthorization bill. The Senate Commerce Committee will be holding a series of motor carrier safety hearings starting with a general safety oversight hearing in April. CVSA has been invited to testify. On the House side, a core Reauthorization bill has already cleared the Highway and Transit Subcommittee.
One possible scenario is for the House and Senate to complete work on most of the major issues before the November elections except for the more difficult issue of financing the long term bill. This could conceivably be dealt with in a lame duck session of the 111th Congress. There is a precedent for such a scenario which occurred when the Surface Transportation Act of 1982 was passed.
CVSA Participates in Truck Parking Press Event on Capitol Hill
CVSA participated in a March 16 press conference held by Congressmen Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Erik Paulsen (R-MN) to urge support for a bill, H.R. 2156, that they have co-sponsored creating a competitive grant program to help reduce the shortage of rest area parking and allow public and private owners of existing rest areas to expand and improve security. The bill is called “Jason’s Law” named after Jason Rivenburg who was senselessly murdered during a robbery on March 5, 2009 while parked at an abandoned gas station along the I-95 Corridor in the Southeast. Truckers had been using this lot due to a shortage of rest stops along the Corridor.
The bill has drawn a wide range of supporting organizations that include ATA, OOIDA, the New York State Motor Truck Association, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the American Moving and Storage Association.