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AASHTO Journal

State DOTs Must Select Programs to Cut by Wednesday
The Federal Highway Administration sent state transportation departments a notice last Friday instructing the departments to identify no later than Wednesday, Aug. 25, which federal highway programs they will cut as a result of a $2.2 billion rescission enacted by Congress this month.

President Barack Obama signed a bill, HR 1586 (Public Law 111-226), on Aug. 10 requiring FHWA to rescind $2.2 billion in highway contract authority apportionments from balances held by state transportation departments. (see Aug. 13 AASHTO Journal story) The cuts were used as one of several offsets for the cost of the bill, which contains $16 billion to extend increased Medicaid funding for states by six months and $10 billion to help states cover teacher salaries for the upcoming school year.

State DOTs may not apply the rescission to funds distributed for the Railway/Highway Crossings Program, the Highway Safety Improvement Program, the suballocation of Surface Transportation Program funds by population, safety set-asides under the 2005 transportation authorization law known as "SAFETEA-LU," or the Safety Incentives to Prevent Operation of Motor Vehicles by Intoxicated Persons initiative.

The total rescission amount of $2.2 billion is distributed among the states in the same proportion as the funds subject to the rescission were apportioned to states for Fiscal Year 2009. View a table of each state's rescission amount determined by FHWA at tinyurl.com/FHWA111226. Cuts range from $8.5 million for Delaware, the District of Columbia, and Vermont to $205 million for California.

FHWA's Aug. 13 notice, signed by Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, provides that each state shall be allowed to determine how much they want to cut from each highway program except for those programs listed above that are protected from rescission.

"However, division administrators should encourage their state department of transportation officials to reach out to stakeholders in considering how to implement the rescission," the notice states.

The notice is available at tinyurl.com/FHWA081310.

8/20/2010
Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.