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Federal Highway Funding Under Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2004
For the near future, the funding for the Federal Highway Administration will be based on two legislative acts: The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2004 (STEA04, P. L. 108-202, signed February 29, 2004) and the Transportation, Treasury, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004 (DOT Appropriations Act, Division F of P.L. 108-199, signed January 23, 2004).Contract Authority
STEA04 authorizes contract authority for the first 7 months of FY 2004 for FHWA programs. In most cases, the amounts authorized are for 7/12ths of the amount authorized for FY 2003. The amounts authorized include the amount previously authorized by the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2003 (STEA03) for each program. The contract authority made available under STEA04, except for the portion of Minimum Guarantee that is exempt from the obligation limitation, is subject to a 0.59 percent across-the-board reduction found in the DOT Appropriations Act. The dollar amounts in the discussion below are the full amounts authorized, before the 0.59 percent deduction.
Formula Programs -Contract authority is authorized for the FHWA's formula programs. A separate authorization is provided for metropolitan planning, but a single lump sum of contract authority is authorized for all other formula programs. This lump sum will be apportioned among the states based on the FY 2003 formula obligation limitation distribution. The amount for each State will then be distributed among the formula programs, including minimum guarantee, based on the amounts the State received for each program for FY 2003. The apportionments will be subject to the various penalty provisions. The metropolitan planning funds will be distributed under the usual formula.
Allocated Programs -Amounts are also authorized for individual allocated programs and for FHWA's administrative expenses. In most cases, the amounts authorized are for 7/12ths of the amount authorized for FY 2003. Programs normally funded by deductions off the top of the authorized amounts, like FHWA administrative expenses and the Bridge Discretionary Program, are authorized separately under STEA04.
The DOT Appropriations Act for FY 2004 set the obligation limitation for Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction at $33,843,000,000, subject to a 0.59 percent across-the-board cut. Under STEA04, within the full year obligation limitation set in the DOT Appropriations Act, obligations for all Federal-aid highway programs during the 7-month period (10/1/03-4/30/04) are limited to $19,741,750,000, not including $372,750,000 for Minimum Guarantee that is exempt from the obligation limitation.
P.L. 108-202 - The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2004
The legislation amends the Surface Transportation Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-88), the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (P.L. 105-178), and the Transportation, Treasury, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004 (Division F of P.L. 108-199).
Sec. 1. Short Title.
This act may be cited as the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2004.
Sec. 2. Advances.
Advance Authorizations of Contract Authority
The bill provides funding for Federal-aid highway apportioned programs except Metropolitan Planning (see section 5) for 7 months (from October 1, 2003, through April 30, 2004). Funding is provided as an extension of TEA-21 (thus, TEA-21 conditions such as DBE will apply), and as an advance against full year funding for 2004 that will eventually be provided in a long-term reauthorization bill. No new programs are authorized in the extension bill.
For Federal-aid highways and highway safety construction programs, $18,876,841,666 in contract authority is authorized, to be apportioned as a lump sum to each State based on the State's relative share of the 2003 formula obligation limitation. Each State's lump sum of contract authority is to be divided programmatically based on the State's relative share of the FY 2003 apportionment for each of the following categories:
The following deductions and set-asides will not apply to these funds, because these activities are separately authorized in STEA04:
Separate contract authority is provided for the above activities and other allocated programs (see Sections 4-6).
Within the full year obligation limitation set in the DOT Appropriations Act for FY 2004, STEA04 limits obligations from the Federal-aid highway program during the 7-month period to $19,741,750,000, not including $372,750,000 for Minimum Guarantee that is exempt from the obligation limitation. The limitation applies to formula programs, allocated programs and administrative expenses.
Generally, STEA04 directs that the available obligation limitation be distributed according to section 110 of the DOT Appropriations Act, except that the obligation limitation for each program, project, or activity will be the greater of the amount made available under STEA04 or 7/12ths of the amount made available under the DOT Appropriations Act.
No obligations may be made after April 30, 2004 until enactment of a law reauthorizing the Federal-aid Highway Program.
Sec. 3. Transfers of Unobligated Apportionments.
STEA04 continues to allow transfers of apportioned funds among programs, but narrows the scope of such transfers. States may transfer apportioned funds subject to the obligation limitation among programs and suballocations. Available for transfer are NHS, IM, STP, Bridge, and STP, except that STP funds setaside for safety, transportation enhancements and for urbanized areas over 200,000 population may not be transferred. CMAQ funds are not eligible for transfer as they were under STEA03. Transferred funds are subject to the provisions of the program to which they are transferred (except transfers to STP are not subject to suballocation). Funds so transferred are subject to repayment to the programs from which transfers are made as soon as practicable after enactment of a reauthorization bill.
Sec. 4. Administrative Expenses.
STEA04 authorizes $262,500,000 in contract authority for administrative expenses of the Federal Highway Administration.
Sec. 5. Other Federal-Aid Highway Programs.
Contract authority is provided for other programs for the 7-month period of October 1, 2003, through April 30, 2004, as follows:
* There will be no administrative takedown (FHWA or FMCSA) from Federal Lands Highways funds.
Sec. 6. Extension of Highway Safety Programs.
Extends from October 1, 2003 through April 30, 2004, the two safety grant programs that are within the Federal-aid highway program:
Sec. 7. Sport Fishing and Boating Safety.
This section extends provisions related to programs funded from the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund.
Sec. 8. Technical Amendments.
This section amends provisions of the DOT Appropriation Act.
It allows up to $2,600,000 each to be deducted from the authorized funds for the Safety Incentive Grants for Use of Seat Belts and Safety Incentives to Prevent Operation of Motor Vehicles by Intoxicated Persons. The funds deducted are available to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the administrative costs of the two programs.
Section 110 of the DOT Appropriations Act, which describes the distribution of highway obligation limitation, is amended so that the obligation limitation set aside for projects funded by section 115 of that Act is no-year limitation that may be carried over to subsequent years.
Sec. 9. Extension of Federal Transit Programs.
This section extends from October 1, 2003 through April 30, 2004 the programs of the Federal Transit Administration.
Section 10. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Programs.
This section extends National Highway Traffic Safety Administration programs from October 1, 2003 through April 30, 2004.
Sec. 11. Extension of Motor Carrier Safety Programs.
This section extends from October 1, 2003 through February 29, 2004 the programs of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It also makes technical amendments to the DOT Appropriations Act.
Sec. 12. Extension of Authorization for Use of Trust Funds for Obligations under TEA-21.
This section amends the Highway Trust Fund provisions of the Internal Revenue Code to authorize expenditures from the HTF before May 1, 2004, and authorizes expenditures to carry out this Act. The section also adopts a temporary rule that says, for Byrd Test purposes, taxes are assumed to have been extended through the end of FY 2006.