Senator Urges Action on Federal Highway Funds
Hawai`i State Senator Lorraine Inouye (D– N. Kona, Kohala, N. Hilo, Hāmākua), recently appointed as Chair of the Senate Transportation and Energy committee, has expressed “grave concern” over the impending expiration date on federal transportation funding.
Addressing Hawai‘i’s Congressional delegation in a letter, Sen. Inouye urged action to authorize federal funds to avoid any lapse in funding. The lapse would severely impact state projects. Sen. Inouye supports the passage of a bill to make funding for individual transportation projects more sustainable in the long-term.
“Hawai‘i relies greatly on federal funds, as do other states, and our State’s transportation projects depend on long-term commitments from federal funding,” said Sen. Inouye. “It is imperative for Congress to continue to fund projects that have already started while looking for additional long-term solutions that continue to support Hawai‘i’s needs.”
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill to extend funding for the Highway Trust Fund through July 31 through a series of “reconciliation of funds” measures amending the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014. The approved bill now goes on to the senate for consideration.
Congress has until May 31 to authorize federal funding for state transportation projects. Federal aid funds will be halted if no action is taken prior to this date.