Long-term transportation funding bill signed by president

Published On: December 9, 2015Categories: Industry News, News

Also includes funding for SFRBTF

With overwhelming bipartisan support last Thursday, the U.S. House and Senate approved a five-year transportation bill, which was signed into law by President Obama the next day.

The $305 billion “FAST Act” (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) provides—for the first time in a decade—systematic extended funding for U.S. roads, bridges, and transit systems.

Also included in the law is funding for a complete five-year reauthorization of the Sportfish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund (SFRBTF).

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has been working with the Angling & Boating Alliance (ABA) for three years leading up to the approval of the highway bill. Policy changes include:

  • New language regarding the $1.2 million that funds the Sport Fish and Boating Partnership Council and the four fisheries commissions but with no substantive policy or funding change from current law.
  • Provisions regarding the distribution of funds to Boating Infrastructure Grants and Clean Vessel Act grants in an effort to find administrative fund efficiencies and to provide states with more flexibility in how they use these funds.
  • Alters the $3 million Multi-State Conservation Grant Program from an off-the-top deduction and includes it in the SFR distribution.
  • Provides a new and different way to arrive at the Coast Guard administrative fees as a hard cost total amount off the top.
  • Of the total amount, $1.5 million is specific for the boating survey, $2.1 million is for the manufacturer’s compliance program and the remainder for administering the state grant program and conducting the Coast Guard Recreational Boating Safety program.