A $287 billion highway bill the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee easily advanced last month is notable for several big-picture proposals.
The five-year bill would enhance severe-weather resilience for infrastructure systems. It would further streamline the environmental permitting process through a “one federal decision” approach.
And, despite lacking jurisdiction over the country’s traditional source of funding for the surface transportation system — the Highway Trust Fund — the Senate panel tackled the infrastructure funding dilemma.
The bill proposes an examination of a nationwide vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) fee that would fund highway construction and maintenance projects.