To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Federal shutdown may affect transit funding, but not highways


September 30, 2013

Transit agency funding could be affected, but not highway funding, if a congressional deadlock forces a partial shutdown of the federal government.

Both the Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Highway Administration draw from the highway trust fund, which expires a year from now. “So we have continued budget authority for another year,” said Travis Brouwer, federal affairs adviser for the Oregon Department of Transportation.

The trust fund is not dependent on annual appropriations from Congress. Since a six-year authorization expired in 2009, however, Congress has renewed the fund only for short periods; the latest two-year extension will expire one year from today.

However, Brouwer said, staffing for the Federal Transit Administration is dependent on annual appropriations, so that agency cannot process grants and the staff will be on unpaid furlough if there is a shutdown.

Also, payments by the staff to local transit agencies could be delayed. Some of those payments are funneled through ODOT’s Public Transit Division to smaller agencies, although larger agencies such as the Salem-Keizer Transit District receive their federal payments directly.

“All transit providers could feel the effects of a shutdown if it’s long,” Brouwer said. “Smaller providers do not have the cash flow of larger providers, so they may feel the pain first.”

As for the Federal Highway Administration, whose Oregon headquarters are in Salem, and federal money to the Oregon Department of Transportation, a shutdown will have no immediate effect. The federal trust fund consists of gasoline taxes and other receipts.