John Latta | September 14, 2011
So we have another extension of surface transportation authorization.
Now SAFETEA-LU, which expired in 2009, effectively runs through March 31. I really tried to find something in this one, as in the previous seven, which indicated progress, some movement or trend towards a new bill. We do have both the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and various Senators and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee heading in the same direction on reforms, but that was never really a major hurdle. But there is still now way to finance an adequate six-year bill given the all-around refusal to raise fuel taxes. So in the case of funding there has been no movement since ol’ SAFETEA-LU ‘expired’.
Given that March 31 next year is in the middle of an election year, the only chance would seem to be to do something before then. What’s missing when you try and foresee how that might happen is progress up to this point on funds. Without it we are essentially starting over again. Square One is getting worn out. That’s not encouraging.