Legislative Update: President Obama Signs Multi-Year Highway Bill Reauthorizing ARC through FY 2020
On December 4, President Obama signed a multi-year surface transportation bill (the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, Public Law No. 114-94) that contains a five-year reauthorization for ARC—through FY 2020—and authorizes the Commission's nonhighway program at a funding level of $110 million a year during that period. The legislation also authorizes a new high-speed broadband deployment program for the Appalachian Region at a funding level of $10 million per year. (This amount is within the $110 million per year authorized for ARC's nonhighway program). Actual funding amounts for the programs would be determined by annual appropriations bills.
In addition, the measure makes construction of Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) corridors eligible for funding under a new surface transportation block grant program, and 100 percent federal funding for construction of ADHS corridors is authorized through 2050. The bill also creates a new National Highway Freight Program, under which funding would be available for ADHS corridors if the corridors are included in the state and/or national planned freight route networks.