U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for fulfilling a pledge to pass the first long-term transportation bill in a decade, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 22). The six-year reauthorization bill reforms our nation's transportation system that encompasses four million miles of public roads and over 600,000 bridges, giving state and local governments the certainty and flexibility they need to make critical investments where its needed the most.
"This bill cuts waste, opens transparency and boosts commerce, safety and quality of life," said Rogers. "Better infrastructure results in a better economic portfolio for Kentucky and that translates to more competitive opportunities to create good-paying jobs across the state. Additionally, this bill puts funding in the hands of local authorities who know where to focus first on improvements."
The bill targets four specific areas: infrastructure improvements, efficiency reforms, national priorities and innovation:
Improving Our Infrastructure
• Provides certainty for state and local governments to undertake large-scale, complex transportation projects
• Provides flexibility for states to invest in bridge rehabilitation and replacement
• Eliminates red tape that slows down infrastructure improvements
• Streamlines the environmental review and permitting process to cut red tape and accelerate project delivery
• Provides more flexibility and decision-making to states and local governments to allow them to better address their priorities and needs
• Eliminates and consolidates offices within the Department of Transportation
• Establishes a National Surface Transportation and Innovative Finance Bureau to provide assistance to help state, local, and private sector
partners move transportation projects forward
• Overhauls federal truck and bus safety grant programs and rulemaking processes
• Reforms truck and bus safety programs and eases administrative burdens on small businesses
Refocusing on National Priorities
• Facilitates commerce and the movement of goods by establishing a Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program
• Provides flexibility to states to target driver safety grants on their pressing safety needs
• Consolidates truck and bus safety grant programs and provides state flexibility on safety priorities
• Promotes private investment in our surface transportation system
• Promotes the deployment of transportation technologies and congestion management tools that support an efficient and safe surface
transportation system for all
• Updates federal research and transportation standards development to reflect the growth of technology in transportation
• Encourages the installation of vehicle-to-infrastructure equipment to reduce congestion and improve safety
• Improves truck and bus safety by accelerating the introduction of new transportation technologies
The U.S. House passed the bill with an overwhelming majority vote of 363-64.
Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit http://halrogers.house.gov/ or follow Rogers on Twitter, Instagram or on Facebook.