Rep. Waters' Bill Seeks Benefits For Poor Urban Areas Too From Fed Highway Funds

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Rep. Waters

The Integrated Transportation and Economic Development Act (H.R. 3740), was introduced by Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, prior to the October 9, 2015 adjournment.

This bill will amend the national goals of the Federal aid-highway program to include the improvement of road conditions in economically distressed urban communities, Rep. Waters said.

Ten Members of Congress joined the Congresswoman as original cosponsors, and four additional Members subsequently agreed to cosponsor the bill. “Our Federal highway program includes goals focused on improving safety, reliability, infrastructure condition, freight movement, and access for rural communities, but there is no goal specified in the program focused on ensuring that economically distressed urban communities are not left behind,” Rep. Waters, said.

The Congresswoman’s bill establishes a new goal for the Federal aid-highway program: To improve road conditions in economically distressed urban communities and increase access to jobs, markets, and economic opportunities for people who live in such communities.  The new goal is entitled “Integrated Economic Development.”

“It is important that both urban and rural communities are able to benefit from the Federal highway program and receive an equitable distribution of Federal transportation funds,” Rep. Waters, added.  “My legislation will ensure that the most economically distressed communities in our urban areas receive their fair share of funds.”

The bill also requires the Secretary of Transportation to establish performance measures for states to use to assess the conditions, accessibility and reliability of roads in economically distressed urban communities and requires states to submit periodic reports that describe progress in the improvement of these communities’ roads.
 

 

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