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IDOT outlines problems with US House Transportation legislation

As I outlined on this blog, reactions to H.R. 7, The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012, have been mixed at best. Interest groups will have specific takes on legislation based on the needs and perspectives of their members, ie. not surprising to see the American Public Transit Association (APTA) express their displeasure with legislation that jeopardizes the very existence of public transit.

This is why I paid special attention to this memo prepared by the Illinois Department of Transportation and sent to members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation. The memo outlines some of the more severe cuts and changes proposed in H.R. 7 such as the removal of dedicated revenues for transit funding or the highway formula changes that would immediately deduct $237 million from Illinois in FY12. Update as of the end of last week – Illinois would not lose $237 million in FY12, however, Illinois is still anticipated to receive approximately $100 million less/year beginning in FY13.

Bottom line: if you compare the highway funding formulas in H.R. 7 to FY11 funding levels, Illinois takes about a billion (with a b) haircut over the next few years. If you compare the formulas to FY12, we still shave off about $800 million. According to the FHWA for every billion spent on infrastructure, 27800 jobs are created. That’s a lot of jobs, but there’s also a real lack of money coming into the Federal Highway Trust Fund and a real lack of willingness in Congress to raise the revenues to avoid cuts. It seems to me it’d be worth a few extra cents per gallon to see our country rebuild its critical infrastructure and create a lot of jobs in the process.

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