Hoeven: Congress Passes Five-Year Highway Bill; Measure Includes More Than $1.3 Billion for N.D. Infrastructure

Measure Also Restores $3 Billion Cut in Crop Insurance Made in Budget Agreement

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the new five-year highway bill that Congress approved today will provide North Dakota with more than $1.3 billion and enable more than 100 North Dakota transportation projects to advance. The formula is favorable to North Dakota and increases annual highway funding for the state to $263 million, about $23 million a year more than it currently receives. The bill also provides a total of $76 million over five years for transit projects in North Dakota.

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST) Act reauthorizes the nation’s transportation programs for five years. The bill provides $305 billion in contract authority for the 2015 to 2020 period. The measure is fully paid for and makes up for a lack of highway trust fund revenues by adding about $70 billion in offsets.

“These investments will create new jobs, provide a sustained boost to our nation’s economy and help keep America and North Dakota competitive in the global marketplace,” Hoeven said. “The total highway formula funding for North Dakota over five years would be more than $1.3 billion, excluding additional transit and transportation safety funding. It will make possible more than a hundred transportation projects across North Dakota that were formerly at risk, and importantly, it does so without raising taxes or increasing the deficit.”

The bill also includes Hoeven’s Driver Privacy Act, legislation that establishes in law that the owner of a vehicle is also the owner of any information collected by an Event Data Recorder (EDR). Hoeven was joined on the legislation by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). Hoeven also teamed with Klobuchar to pass the Distracted Driving Act, bipartisan legislation that will help more states access a federal distracted driving grant program.

Importantly for farmers and ranchers in North Dakota and across the nation, the bill restores $3 billion that was cut from crop insurance in the budget agreement forged in October. Hoeven worked as a member of the Agriculture Committee to reverse efforts to further cut crop insurance funding, which has already been reduced by $12 billion since 2008.

FAST Act Highlights for North Dakota:

  • Increases Transportation Funding for North Dakota by maintaining the federal aid highway formula structure and increasing the amount each state will receive every year:
    • North Dakota will receive an average of $263 million a year in highway formula funding over five years, an average of $23 million more than the state receives today.
      • Makes completing transportation projects easier by making National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) reforms, cutting red tape.
      • Provides five years of increased funding, giving state and local governments the certainty and stability they need to improve and develop our nation’s transportation infrastructure.
  • Increases Transit Funding to North Dakota by approximately $1 million a year, from more than $14 million in the first year to more than $17 million by the fifth year. Overall, the bill increases public transportation funding nearly $1.3 billion over MAP-21 levels.
  • Improves Safety:  The bill’s safety and regulatory title makes important enhancements for safer highways as well as freight and passenger rail service through effective implementation of new technologies, new tools for federal safety watchdog agencies, reforming grant programs for states and transparency that promotes accountability.
  • Freight Program:  Establishes a Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects program that includes a rural set-aside within this $4.5 billion discretionary grant program designed to improve safety and efficiency of the movement of freight and people, reduce highway congestion and bottlenecks, and generate economic growth.