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ATSSA Town Hall breaks down IIJA funding, timing

‘Gas tax holidays’ raise concerns, not expected at federal level

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Five months after the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) was signed into law, it’s understandable ATSSA members could be wondering when the money will begin flowing to projects across the country.

That was one of the key discussion points today during an ATSSA Town Hall on the “Economic Impact of the Infrastructure Package on ATSSA Member Companies.”

ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith and Kathy Ruffalo, president of consulting firm Ruffalo & Associates, reviewed the funds expected through different programs, the steps to get them accessible and when the first money can be expected.

Smith also talked about the gas tax holiday proposals across the country and ATSSA's efforts against them.

Lieutenant governors association recognizes National Work Zone Awareness Week with resolution

National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 11-15

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This morning, the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) recognized the importance of roadway worker protection by unanimously approving a policy resolution recognizing National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW). 

While gathered at a conference in Washington, D.C., the NLGA’s Resolutions Committee approved the measure unanimously on Wednesday. The full NLGA voted its support today.

Delaware Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long made remarks prior to the approval, noting how critical it is to raise awareness of workers in active work zones and how important it is to do everything possible to provide for safety while making infrastructure improvements.

'Work Zones are a Sign to Slow Down'

Support work zone safety during National Work Zone Awareness Week -- April 11-15

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (March 31, 2022) – The transportation industry is taking increasing steps to improve the timeliness of information about active work zones but even before those measures are available nationwide, work zone warnings are important for everyone to heed to get home safely.

This year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 11-15 with the theme: “Work Zones are a Sign to Slow Down.”

National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), in its 22nd year, is a national public awareness campaign held annually at the start of the spring construction season. It spreads the message that we are all responsible for work zone safety.

ATSSA leading push against efforts to suspend gas taxes

Members urged to contact their elected representatives and voice their concerns

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ATSSA has launched a nationwide effort to discourage states and Congress from suspending the collection of taxes on gasoline noting the surge in roadway fatalities over the past two years.

Some in Congress and some in state governments across the country have proposed temporarily cutting gas taxes as a way to help consumers amid inflation and sudden hikes in gas prices. However, the temporary measure would not necessarily benefit consumers but would deter improvements to roadway infrastructure at a time when such projects had just received approval for significant funding, ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner noted.

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) became law in November and includes nearly $23 billion for roadway safety, funding necessary to help move the nation Toward Zero Deaths on its highways.

Federal and state taxes on gasoline and diesel are important sources of revenue for funding roadway safety improvements.

ATSSA State Chapters Oppose Gas Tax Suspension Measures

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Three ATSSA chapters sent letters today opposing measures that would suspend state gas taxes during the ongoing crisis.

In Michigan, Pennsylvania and California, governors and state legislators have proposed temporarily halting their state’s gas tax in an attempt to provide relief to consumers at the pump. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that consumers will see a discernible decrease in the price of fuel should these measures become law. Instead, much-needed roadway safety improvement projects would be put at risk. ATSSA remains concerned with any federal or state legislation that would threaten critical infrastructure funding.

ATSSA joins effort asking Congress to amend ARP to release relief funds

Groups seek ability to use allocated funds for transportation projects

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ATSSA joined the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and 26 other groups asking leaders in the House and Senate to pass legislation that would amend the American Rescue Plan (ARP).

The groups sent a letter on Tuesday asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to act on legislation (S. 3011 and H.R. 5735) that would give states and localities greater flexibility to use a larger portion of ARP funds needed for transportation projects.

“The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provided states and localities with $350 billion in relief funds and $10 billion in capital improvement assistance at a time of critical need. The COVID-19 pandemic ripped a gaping hole in the budgets of many state and local governments, making this assistance crucial as the nation’s economic recovery continues,” the letter states.

It goes on to explain that more than $100 billion remains unobligated and yet “the funds lack the flexibility necessary for states and localities to address ongoing transportation needs.”

ATSSA leads road safety coalition in opposing Gas Prices Relief Act

Group sends letters to House and Senate leaders expressing its view

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ATSSA was joined today by 11 road safety organizations in submitting letters to the leadership of the House and Senate, asking them to reject the Gas Prices Relief Act proposed in both houses of Congress.

The letter to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell opens with the following statement.

“As the leading road safety associations and organizations in the United States, we write to strongly urge you to oppose the Gas Prices Relief Act, introduced by Sens. Kelly, Hassan, Stabenow, Cortez Masto, Warnock and Rosen. This legislation would be calamitous to federal transportation and road safety programs, shortly after the enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that provided historic federal investments in this nation’s infrastructure.”

Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Maggie Hasson (D-N.H.) introduced the legislation earlier this month, with Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Jackie Rosen (D-Nev.) signing on as co-sponsors.

ATSSA CEO sends letter to Senate leaders urging rejection of Gas Prices Relief Act

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner today sent a letter to Senate leaders Charles Schumer and Mitch McConnell urging them to reject the Gas Prices Relief Act.

“On behalf of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and its over 1500 members, I strongly urge you to oppose the Gas Prices Relief Act. This legislation would strip the main source of funding for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), jeopardizing the implementation of life-saving infrastructure safety programs included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA),” Tetschner wrote.

He noted that at a time when roadway fatalities are increasing, it is not a time to “undercut funding for infrastructure safety projects.”

ATSSA members are encouraged to reach out to their Senators to express their opposition to the proposal.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg delivering keynote remarks

Transportation leader confirmed for ATSSA’s 2022 Convention & Traffic Expo

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (Feb. 8, 2022) – Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg confirmed today that he will deliver keynote remarks at ATSSA’s 52nd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo.

Buttigieg is expected to discuss the National Roadway Safety Strategy released Jan. 27 by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) as well as provide insights into the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) and its impact on roadway safety.

“We are honored that Transportation Secretary Buttigieg is making the time to address our members and we look forward to hearing his insights pertaining to roadway safety and how our industry can partner with USDOT to dramatically reduce roadway fatalities,” said ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner.

FHWA releases guidelines for safety programs under new infrastructure package

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Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released guidelines for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) under the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

The guidance outlines eligibilities under the HSIP, along with defining guidance for new special rules that  fall under the HSIP.

While the majority of the HSIP guidance remains intact from the previous highway authorization, ATSSA’s Government Relations team highlighted a few changes to the guidance under the IIJA.

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