Monday, March 1, 2010

Transportation Bill Not Extended- Thousands Furloughed

A planned extention of the 'Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users' (SAFETEA-LU) was blocked by the Senate on Friday, particularly one senator; Senator Bunning. So, now we have no dedicated transportation funding source. Here's what we know at this time:

- The Senate returns to business today, but no votes will be held until Tuesday at the earliest. At that point, there are 3 options:

1 - Senator Bunning will yield, allowing a unanimous consent measure to pass, bringing HR 4691 to the Senate floor on Tuesday.
2 - The Senate moves to invoke cloture on HR 4691 on Tuesday, votes on the cloture measure Thursday and final vote on Friday.
3 - The House moves on the HIRE Act, votes and sends it back to the Senate for the cloture & vote process.

As a result of the extention not passing, the US Department of Transportation will furlough nearly 2,000 employees without pay today. This means a lot of transportation programs will be shut down- at least temporarily. Which could lead to more layoffs around the country. I'm not even sure I'm getting paid to work today. I'll take one for the team and stick around though.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation wrote about his disappointment with the political games being played on his 'Fast Lane' blog today.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.