ACEC and our partner stakeholder organizations successfully lobbied for repeal of the $7.6 billion highway funding rescission that was scheduled to take effect next July.
The FAST Act included a provision that would have rescinded $7.6 billion in unobligated contract authority from State DOTs in July 2020. This was done to artificially reduce the budget score when the bill was passed in 2015, a budget gimmick to make the overall bill look less expensive. However, it severely impinged the flexibility of State DOTs to move funds between highway program accounts and was going to significantly impact project planning for 2020. According to FHWA calculations, states only held $5.4 billion in unspent funds at the end of the previous fiscal year, meaning that an additional $2.2 billion would have been withdrawn from Fiscal Year 2020 apportionments.
ACEC has been actively advocating for repeal of the rescission, and thankfully a repeal provision was included in the most recent “continuing resolution” stopgap funding bill this week. That bill passed the House yesterday and is expected to be passed by the Senate and signed into law by tomorrow.
We wrote a Last Word blog post with more details, including a state-by-state chart of the DOT funding that our advocacy preserved. ACEC collaborated closely with AASHTO on this effort, and it was a great example of the industry lobbying for the needs of the state DOTs.