Recently, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee released its highway reauthorization proposal. Dubbed the “MAP-21 Reauthorization Act,” the bill authorizes $265 billion in funding over six years for Federal Highway Administration programs, effectively maintaining funding levels authorized by the previous highway bill, with slight increases to account for inflation. In order to fully fund the program Congress will have to identify approximately $100 billion in revenue above what is projected to be raised by highway user fees. The bill keeps the basic structure of its predecessor, MAP-21, while adding two new major programs. The National Freight Program provides $6 billion over five years to states for projects on the National Highway Freight Network, a network of highways identified by USDOT and the states as critical to the movement of freight. Up to 10% of the funding can be used by states for non-highway freight projects. The Projects of National and Regional Significance Program is a $400 million per year grant program administered by USDOT for critical, high-cost projects. Highway, transit, rail and a wide range of other surface transportation projects are eligible for funding. The bill did not increase state flexibility to toll existing Interstates, as proposed by the Obama Administration. Nor did it make any changes to truck size and weight limits. The bill is to be considered by the Committee at the next opportunity. Note that motor carrier, transit and rail programs fall under the jurisdiction of different Senate committees and were not included in this legislation. Neither the other committees with jurisdiction over the surface transportation bill in the Senate, nor the House committees of jurisdiction, have released their portions of the legislation or announced when they will release their bills. The current bill – MAP-21 – expires on October 1.