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ATSSA leading push against efforts to suspend gas taxes

Members urged to contact their elected representatives and voice their concerns

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ATSSA has launched a nationwide effort to discourage states and Congress from suspending the collection of taxes on gasoline noting the surge in roadway fatalities over the past two years.

Some in Congress and some in state governments across the country have proposed temporarily cutting gas taxes as a way to help consumers amid inflation and sudden hikes in gas prices. However, the temporary measure would not necessarily benefit consumers but would deter improvements to roadway infrastructure at a time when such projects had just received approval for significant funding, ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner noted.

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) became law in November and includes nearly $23 billion for roadway safety, funding necessary to help move the nation Toward Zero Deaths on its highways.

Federal and state taxes on gasoline and diesel are important sources of revenue for funding roadway safety improvements.

ATSSA State Chapters Oppose Gas Tax Suspension Measures

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Three ATSSA chapters sent letters today opposing measures that would suspend state gas taxes during the ongoing crisis.

In Michigan, Pennsylvania and California, governors and state legislators have proposed temporarily halting their state’s gas tax in an attempt to provide relief to consumers at the pump. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that consumers will see a discernible decrease in the price of fuel should these measures become law. Instead, much-needed roadway safety improvement projects would be put at risk. ATSSA remains concerned with any federal or state legislation that would threaten critical infrastructure funding.

ATSSA joins effort asking Congress to amend ARP to release relief funds

Groups seek ability to use allocated funds for transportation projects

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ATSSA joined the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and 26 other groups asking leaders in the House and Senate to pass legislation that would amend the American Rescue Plan (ARP).

The groups sent a letter on Tuesday asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to act on legislation (S. 3011 and H.R. 5735) that would give states and localities greater flexibility to use a larger portion of ARP funds needed for transportation projects.

“The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provided states and localities with $350 billion in relief funds and $10 billion in capital improvement assistance at a time of critical need. The COVID-19 pandemic ripped a gaping hole in the budgets of many state and local governments, making this assistance crucial as the nation’s economic recovery continues,” the letter states.

It goes on to explain that more than $100 billion remains unobligated and yet “the funds lack the flexibility necessary for states and localities to address ongoing transportation needs.”

ATSSA leads road safety coalition in opposing Gas Prices Relief Act

Group sends letters to House and Senate leaders expressing its view

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ATSSA was joined today by 11 road safety organizations in submitting letters to the leadership of the House and Senate, asking them to reject the Gas Prices Relief Act proposed in both houses of Congress.

The letter to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell opens with the following statement.

“As the leading road safety associations and organizations in the United States, we write to strongly urge you to oppose the Gas Prices Relief Act, introduced by Sens. Kelly, Hassan, Stabenow, Cortez Masto, Warnock and Rosen. This legislation would be calamitous to federal transportation and road safety programs, shortly after the enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that provided historic federal investments in this nation’s infrastructure.”

Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Maggie Hasson (D-N.H.) introduced the legislation earlier this month, with Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Jackie Rosen (D-Nev.) signing on as co-sponsors.

ATSSA CEO sends letter to Senate leaders urging rejection of Gas Prices Relief Act

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner today sent a letter to Senate leaders Charles Schumer and Mitch McConnell urging them to reject the Gas Prices Relief Act.

“On behalf of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and its over 1500 members, I strongly urge you to oppose the Gas Prices Relief Act. This legislation would strip the main source of funding for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), jeopardizing the implementation of life-saving infrastructure safety programs included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA),” Tetschner wrote.

He noted that at a time when roadway fatalities are increasing, it is not a time to “undercut funding for infrastructure safety projects.”

ATSSA members are encouraged to reach out to their Senators to express their opposition to the proposal.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg delivering keynote remarks

Transportation leader confirmed for ATSSA’s 2022 Convention & Traffic Expo

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (Feb. 8, 2022) – Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg confirmed today that he will deliver keynote remarks at ATSSA’s 52nd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo.

Buttigieg is expected to discuss the National Roadway Safety Strategy released Jan. 27 by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) as well as provide insights into the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) and its impact on roadway safety.

“We are honored that Transportation Secretary Buttigieg is making the time to address our members and we look forward to hearing his insights pertaining to roadway safety and how our industry can partner with USDOT to dramatically reduce roadway fatalities,” said ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner.

FHWA releases guidelines for safety programs under new infrastructure package

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Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released guidelines for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) under the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

The guidance outlines eligibilities under the HSIP, along with defining guidance for new special rules that  fall under the HSIP.

While the majority of the HSIP guidance remains intact from the previous highway authorization, ATSSA’s Government Relations team highlighted a few changes to the guidance under the IIJA.

ATSSA co-leads effort asking Yellen for relief on supply chain challenges

19 associations engaged in infrastructure work seek ARPA funds to help with soaring prices

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ATSSA is one of 19 organizations asking Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to clarify that American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds can be used to help subcontractors and suppliers that are struggling due to supply chain issues brought on by the pandemic.

“At this critical time, as Congress has passed the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that will provide impactful infrastructure investment to the nation, we request relief for government agencies and businesses who have and continue to face unprecedented pandemic-induced supply chain delays and shortages that may undercut the anticipated benefits of the IIJA investment,” according to the letter sent to Yellen on Monday.

ATSSA, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the American Road &Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) led the effort that was joined by 15 other organizations.

Smith: ATSSA members’ diligence made a difference with IIJA

ATSSA Town Hall breaks down details of the infrastructure bill

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ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith told ATSSA members today that their diligence over the past 15 to 20 years played a significant role in the funding coming to roadway safety under the new infrastructure law.

“You all should pat yourselves on the back,” Smith said during an ATSSA Town Hall to discuss the impact of the bipartisan infrastructure bill that was signed into law on Monday. “This is a job well done.”

The $1.2 trillion measure is a historic investment in transportation funding and includes a 5-year, $304 billion investment in roads and bridges, Smith said. He noted that’s a 34% increase over current spending for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and translates into $16.8 billion over five years for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).

Smith said he’s confident the HSIP funding will mean additional opportunities for ATSSA members.

ATSSA CEO thanks House members for their leadership in infrastructure vote

Tetschner commends all in Congress for acting to make America’s roads safer

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner issued the following statement today after President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law.

“With the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) now signed into law, it is important to recognize the members of Congress that stepped up for our country and did the job we asked them to do.

“The IIJA is a bipartisan success story, which is something that has become a rare sight on Capitol Hill. However, despite this legislation having support on both sides of the aisle, other members of Congress have taken the opportunity to attack those that stood up and voted to pass this legislation. I specifically want to acknowledge 13 Republican members of the House of Representatives."

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