The federal transportation bill, which has been looking dead in recent weeks, just sprang to life in the last 72 hours. With a June 30 deadline to get a deal done, things are moving fast.
Now we need your help to ensure Congress retains funding for safer streets and Safe Routes to Schools by calling Senator Murray (and Congresswoman Herrera Beutler,if you live in SW Washington), now.
|Safety education for kids are at risk. Call today.|
www.pedbikeimages.org / Mike Cynecki
The short: late last week US Senate and House leadership decided to make a last-minute push for a bill by June 30, directing Senator Boxer and Representative Mica to go into serious negotiations on the transportation bill. Top on their agenda: working out an agreement on bicycle/pedestrian funding and on environmental streamlining.
Conference negotiations are done in secret and we don't know the specifics of the changes to Cardin-Cochran amendment (this Senate amendment is where Safe Routes and Transportation Enhancements will be preserved in the transportation package), but the rumors are flying and none of them are good for biking and walking. We believe that the local control aspects of Cardin- Cochran may have been compromised, or possibly that state DOTs will have the ability to opt out of the whole or half of the program.
The good news is that the agreement is not final and because of the fast-approaching deadline the situation is very volatile. Because of the impending June 30 deadline, Conferees will have to finish the bill by Wednesday in order to vote on it by Friday (or Saturday) next week. There is still time for Conferees to weigh in.
We need your help in making calls now.
One of our key federal partners, America Bikes, has set up a helpful tracking service with talking points, numbers, etc to get folks started.Simply enter your info, click on the button next to Senator Murray (and Herrera Beutler, if she represents you) and get started making your call.