Washington, DC — During floor debate today on H.R. 3763, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) secured a commitment from Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (PA-09) to work on directing federal transportation funding to suburban areas as the bill goes to conference to ensure a more equitable split among urban, suburban, and rural communities in the highway bill. Chairmen from Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties sent a letter to Rep. Hultgren asking him to raise the issue while the House considers the highway bill.
Previously, Rep. Hultgren hosted Chairman Shuster along with representatives from Illinois transportation authorities, county and city governments, universities and industry for a discussion on, among other issues, how to address the long-term infrastructure funding needs of Illinois.
“This bill dedicates discretionary grant funding to freight and highway projects of national significance,” said Rep. Hultgren on the House floor. “Though this program is of vital importance to projects in all of our districts, there appears to be a bias on how the vast majority of funds have been awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and suburban projects appear to be often ignored. I ask the Chairman to be mindful of the distribution of such funding levels as it pertains to suburban projects…I would ask that as this bill moves to conference, we work together to find some level of equitable distribution of federal funds to suburban areas.”
Rep. Hultgren has offered his own amendment to the current highway bill that would prohibit funding to the Secretary of Transportation for lobbying any Federal, State, or local legislation.
Additionally, he is an original cosponsor on an amendment to restore transit benefits for mass-transit commuters to the same level as parking benefits. Previously, he cosponsored H.R. 990, the Commuter Parity Act, with similar language.
As a former member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Rep. Hultgren helped lead efforts to strengthen existing transportation resources and develop a long-term strategy to meet the needs of the future.