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House Floor Version of TEA LU Bill - 4/2/04

Special Report:  Reauthorization of TEA-21’s Highway, Transit, and Safety Programs - H.R. 3550 (TEA LU) -- Information from Manager's Amendment, 4/1/2004

 

Changes in TEA LU pursuant to the "Manager's Amendment" on April 1, 2004

The TEA LU bill under consideration on the House floor has been altered from the version passed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on March 24, 2004. The revised version has nearly an additional $1 billion in High Priority Project earmarks, $129 million of which are slated for California. With these additional funds, California's share of HPP earmarks under TEA LU would rise to $1.1 billion, or 11.2 percent of the nation's nearly $9.6 billion in total HPP earmarked funding.

An updated state-by-state table of HPP funds, as well as a full list of HPP earmarks for California and various resources, spreadsheets, and other information, are available at http://www.calinst.org/transpo.htm . The information provided was developed in part under the Federal Formula Grants and California project, a joint venture between the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and the California Institute.

It appears that the manager's amendment would changes the bill's "re-opener" provision. The Committee-approved version of the bill would halt all funding for fiscal year 2006 and beyond after September 30, 2005 unless Congress acts to raise the minimum guarantee to 95 percent. It appears that the floor change would only suspend funding for 10 months (September 30, 2005 through August 1, 2006).

The floor amendment clarifies how Congress would maintain TEA-21's Revenue Aligned Budget Authority (RABA) provision, which ensures that increases in gas tax receipts are reinvested in highway spending. In fiscal years 2000-2002, the presence of RABA resulted in the apportionment of $7.8 billion among states. Because RABA is distributed to states according how much highway money the state already receives, California received 9 percent of RABA funds in those three years -- a total of $708 million. (With falling gas tax revenues, RABA was not used in 2003.) The TEA LU managers amendment would re-start RABA in fiscal year 2006.

Under the definitions for "High Priority Corridors on the National Highway System," the floor amendment changes the definition of the Alameda Corridor-East to extend it from Colton to dual termini in Barstow and Coachella, and it deletes from the definition of the "Southwest Passage" the portion of I-8 from San Diego to the Arizona State line. High priority corridors were designated by and funded under TEA-21's predecessor, ISTEA, which operated from 1992 through 1997. In addition, the amendment adds two new corridors, one of which (the 54th) reads "The California Farm-to-Market Corridor, California State Route 99 from south of Bakersfield to Sacramento, California."

The manager's amendment designates a lead agency for accepting federal funds for an ISTEA-designated Priority Intermodal Project to purchase right-of-way and develop a transportation corridor in existing rail right-of-way from Larkspur to Korbel, and Novato to Lombard in Marin County. It widens eligible funding purposes for a $10 million TEA-21 earmark to construct a San Diego and Arizona Eastern Intermodal Yard in San Ysidro, and it alters the designation for a $9.4 million TEA-21 earmarked project from Construct Third Street South Bay Basin Bridge in San Francisco, to instead read "Bayview Transportation Improvements Project."

The amendment provides $9 million for a study, by a two-university partnership, of metropolitan regional freight and passenger transportation, and it provides $12 million for three university transportation centers of excellence - one for environmental excellence, one for excellence in rural safety, and one for excellence in project finance.

Under transit programs, the manager's amendment would make a technical change in the formula for the Clean Fuels Bus Program, which has never been funded, but which would return a large share of funds to California if it ever were to receive funding. It would also create a $10 million per year set-aside from bus and bus facilities capital grant funds for ferry boats or ferry terminal facilities.

In provisions relating to New Starts Final Design and Construction, the amendment clarifies that the designation for the Gold Line Foothill Extension in the Los Angeles area is to run from Pasadena to Montclair; and it inserts (at number 37) a new designation for the San Diego Mid Coast Extension project.

(In addition, the manager's amendment may alters the overall spending limits for highway programs, but leaves transit program spending ($51 billion) unchanged. The highway program obligation limitation figure appears to increase by $6 billion, from $217.4 billion to $223.4 billion, though this may simply reflect the inclusion of the $6 billion in transportation safety spending that was previously designated separately.)


High Priority Project Earmark Changes in Newest TEA LU Version

The Manager's Amendment incorporated into TEA LU on the House Floor on Thursday, April 1, makes a variety of adjustments to High Priority Project earmarks. The largest changes in the earmarks were increase in two Alaska projects -- one from $3 million to $125 million and the other from $3 million to $200 million. California's largest changes were the addition of two projects at $50 million each in Kern County and the addition of $19 million to a project to reconstruct an I-10 interchange in Loma Linda, bringing its total to $23 million. (Unchanged from the Committee version of the bill, the two other California HPP earmarks in excess of $20 million are the widening of SR 46 in San Luis Obispo County at $33.4 million, and upgrading and reconstructing the I-80/I-680 interchange in Solano County at $21 million.)

The changes to California's earmarked projects include the following:

- increases funding from $150,000 to $1 million for an earmark to construct sound barriers at the interchange between Interstate 5 and State Route 54 in National City;

- clarifies language for an $838,690 earmark for the construction of a bridge to connect highways Camino Capistrano and Cabot Road in Mission Viejo;

- clarifies that a $4 million earmark for Folsom is intended to construct of new interchange freeway lanes, including HOV lanes at US HWY 50 and Empire Ranch Road (adding the word "interchange");

- reduces funding for an earmark to develop bicycle paths and public park space adjacent to

the New River in Calexico from $5 million to $4.15 million;

- clarifies that a $2 million earmark for undergrounding of an Auburn Boulevard reliever route along I-80 is in Citrus Heights rather than Sacramento;

- increases funding from $6 million to $7.5 million for an earmark to improve farm-to-market roads in Tulare County;

- eliminates one $8 million earmark to upgrade and reconstruct the I-80/I-680/SR 12 interchange in Solano County, but later increases another earmark for the same project by the same $8 million amount;

- adds an $8 million earmark to purchase three ferry boats and construct dock work in Long Beach;

- clarifies that a $2.5 million earmark for a 2.8 mile bikeway is in the City of Whittier and deletes language that had specified that it be constructed "in conjunction with the City of La Habra";

- similarly deletes separate language that had specified that an additional $400,000 earmark for the same bikeway was to be constructed "in conjunction with the Whittier";

- clarifies that a $12 million earmark in San Francisco is for Muni Geary Boulevard improvements;

- removes language that would have limited a $3 million earmark for a technical feasibility study for a tunnel on the 710 freeway to only be used for a connector to the 210 freeway;

- reduces an earmark to construct the Dry Creek and Enterprise canal trails in Clovis from $700,000 to $200,000;

- clarifies that a $125,200 earmark to improve the Antonio Parkway signal system is located in Rancho Santa Margarita;

- reduces funding to upgrade the Save Mart Center intersection in Fresno from $1.5 million to $500,000;

- eliminates a $1 million earmark to widen the Boulder Avenue Bridge in Highland;

- increases funding to reconstruct the overcrossing and interchange at Interstate 10 & Tippacanoe Ave in Loma Linda from $4 million to $23 million;

- increases funding to construct a new interchange at I-15 and State Route 18 (Falchion Road) and provide new highway access to U.S. 395 (near Apple Valley and Victorville) from $2 million to $6 million;

- increases funding from $1 million to $2 million for construction of a 4-lane connector between I-40 and Arizona Route 95 in Needles;

- eliminates a $2 million earmark to widen the Mountain View Avenue Bridge in Loma Linda;

- inserts a $1 million earmark to improve pedestrian safety on State Highway 62 in Yucca Valley;

- increases funding for to install a new crossing at Ranchero Road in Hesperia from $2 million to $6 million;

- inserts a $50 million to reconstruct and widen SR 46 to a 4-lane expressway between Kern County line and I-5; and

- inserts a $50 million earmark for road construction and surface transportation improvements in Bakersfield metropolitan area.

 

A full list of California’s transit earmarks, spreadsheets showing national totals for highway and transit component programs from the transportation bills, as well as a general side-by-side comparing transit provisions from the House, Senate, and Administration bills with current law, are available at http://www.calinst.org/transpo.htm .  The data and capabilities are derived from the Federal Formula Grants and California Project – a joint venture between the California Institute and the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

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