AASHTO Journal, 22 June 2012
A short statement released Thursday afternoon by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fl.) and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) showed some optimism that a surface transportation bill may still happen before the current extension expires June 30.
“The conferees have moved forward toward a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on a highway reauthorization bill,” the statement said. “Both House and Senate conferees will continue work with a goal of completing a package by next week.”
These developments come after weeks of uncertainty on whether the House and Senate would be able to come together to work out their biggest differences (see related story: bit.ly/AJreauthstory).
State transportation departments have been operating on short-term extensions of the nation’s last surface transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU, since September 30, 2009. The current extension, which stands as the ninth, is set to expire June 30.
The Senate passed MAP-21 in mid-March, a two-year, $109 billion surface transportation authorization bill. The House passed its own bill in mid-April — HR 4348, a 90-day extension of the current surface transportation authorization that included Keystone Pipeline provisions.