New MAP-21 bipartisan transportation bill makes headway
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member, have released an outline for Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), a bipartisan proposal to reauthorize the nation's transportation programs for two years.
MAP-21 authorizes Federal-aid highway programs for 2 years while maintaining current spending levels. MAP-21 continues to provide the majority of Federal resources to the states through core programs using funding formulas. However, the core highway programs have been consolidated from seven in SAFETEA-LU to five. In addition, MAP-21 consolidates 87 programs under SAFETEA-LU to less than 30 programs. The activities for which dedicated funding has been removed have been consolidated into the very broad core programs, leaving states with the flexibility to fund these activities as they see fit.
MAP-21 improves the statewide and metropolitan planning processes to incorporate a more comprehensive performance-based approach to decision making. Utilizing performance targets will assist states and metropolitan areas in targeting limited resources on projects that will most improve the condition and performance of highways and bridges.
The current surface transportation bill expires on September 30.
- Excerpted from the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works Press Release, July 19, 2011