Local Impacts of Federal FY 2011 Budget Deal
The Federal Fiscal Year 2011 budget agreement worked out between House Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid and passed by the House and Senate on Thursday has implications for transportation funding here in northeastern Illinois. Among the cuts included in the agreement are the following:
- All dollars appropriated in H.R. 1473 or appropriated by reference at the FY 2010 level are automatically further reduced by an across-the-board rescission of 0.2 percent. This will impact all transportation programs.
- Unobligated balances totaling $2.5 billion of highway formula contract authority held by states will be rescinded. This loss will have the greatest impact on Illinois funding, with an estimated rescission of $93 million. The rescission will be applied at the discretion of the State; however, STP funds sub-allocated by population, safety funds, and rail grade-crossing funds are exempt from the rescission. CMAP's preliminary analysis, assuming that the State applies the rescission proportionally based upon unobligated balances, indicates that the region's CMAQ program would be subject to a rescission of $37 million.
- A rescission in the amount of $630 million from old highway earmarks from the 1998 TEA21 law and earlier authorization laws will occur if at least 90 percent of the amount provided in the earmark remains unobligated. IDOT has indicated that Illinois does not have projects with that amount of funding remaining from TEA21 or earlier authorization laws, so this should not impact the region.
- The FTA Capital Improvement Grants program (New Starts and Small Starts) was cut to $1.6 billion, 20 percent less than FY 2010's $2.0 billion. RTA has indicated that this cut will not impact any current Metra or CTA New Starts projects.
Additionally, the Illinois passenger rail program may be affected by as follows:
- The final legislation eliminates all new funding in fiscal year 2011 for the high-speed and intercity passenger rail program. The final bill also reaches back and rescinds $400 million of the funding appropriated for the program in FY 2010.
- Amtrak's capital and debt service grants are cut by $80 million below the FY 2010 level.