A short-term highway and transit patch expires on Oct. 29 and Congress is currently under pressure to enact legislation to reconcile a six-year $350 billion Senate-passed highway bill (H.R.22). That bill would allocate $46 billion in general funds to the nearly insolvent Highway Trust Fund. There are currently discussions of a possible tax overhaul that could possibly finance the highway fund, however this overhaul is unlikely.
The House to not likely to move a highway bill before it recesses the week of Oct. 11. Based on the current state of events, lawmakers will likely be left with little choice but to extend surface transportation programs yet again.
This legislation has serious implications for various construction and building trades, as such a substantial lack of funding could directly impact future development and infrastructure plans. This year the Ohio Department of Transportation is investing $2.4 million dollars in transportation construction. ODOT’s 2015 construction season includes a state record 990 projects, which is a fifty percent increase from the prior year.
However, with federal highway funding in such a questionable state, Ohio may be directly impacted considering a substantial part of the state’s funding comes from this federal allocation. Here at ACT Ohio, we will continue to follow this developing legislation and its potential impact on our membership.