Highway & Transportation

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NATSO ANALYSIS: A Deep Dive Into The 2018 Midterm Election Results

November 9, 2018

NATSO ANALYSIS: A Deep Dive Into The 2018 Midterm Election Results

The 2018 Midterm elections played out largely as expected: Democrats recaptured the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010, while Republicans retained their Senate majority by picking up at least two Democrat-held seats. Democrats also managed to pick up at least four governorships and several state legislatures. The Midterms will usher in a new chapter of the Trump Administration and will have wide-ranging consequences for NATSO’s policy priorities.

U.S. Election Midterm Results: Maps and Charts

November 8, 2018

U.S. Election Midterm Results: Maps and Charts

On election night, President Donald Trump's Republican Party retained control of the Senate while the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives. The Democrats gained more than the 23 seats they needed to take control of the House, marking the first time the party has held the majority in the lower house of Congress for eight years. Meanwhile, Republicans kept control of the Senate and will increase their majority. The following maps illustrate the election results in the House, Senate and state Governor races. NATSO will run a separate, post-election analysis in the coming days outlining what the election results mean for NATSO’s policy priorities.

Congressman DeFazio Plans to Deliver Major Infrastructure Package

November 7, 2018

Congressman DeFazio Plans to Deliver Major Infrastructure Package

Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), who is set to become Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the 116th Congress, said Nov. 6 that a major infrastructure package funded by real dollars would be his first order of business in January. Current surface transportation law is set to expire in 2020 and infrastructure is largely viewed as one issue where bipartisan agreement will be possible next year. Of importance to truckstops and travel plazas, Rep. DeFazio spoke about the shortcomings of the $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan put forth by the Administration in early 2018, saying it was full of “pretend stuff” such as privatization and asset recycling, which could very easily lead to tolling and rest area commercialization.

President Signs Into Law Bill That Contains Hair Testing Reporting Requirements

October 25, 2018

President Signs Into Law Bill That Contains Hair Testing Reporting Requirements

President Trump on Oct. 24 signed into law comprehensive legislation aimed at combating the nation’s opioid crisis. Of importance to truckstops that operate commercial vehicles, the bill, which cleared the Congress with near-unanimous approval, contains provisions on hair testing for drivers.

Anti-Tolling Coalition Opposes Truck Only Tolls on I-81 at Public Hearing

October 23, 2018

Anti-Tolling Coalition Opposes Truck Only Tolls on I-81 at Public Hearing

The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI) urged Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine to refrain from charging tolls on commercial trucks to pay for $2 billion of improvements along Interstate-81.

Lawmaker Pushes for New Infrastructure Panel

October 18, 2018

Lawmaker Pushes for New Infrastructure Panel

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is pushing to create an infrastructure subcommittee within the House Ways and Means Committee if Democrats take back the House in an effort to create a new forum for discussing ways to bolster infrastructure investment, Politico reports.

NATSO Urges FMCSA to Consider Effects of Regulatory Changes on Truck Parking Utilization

October 12, 2018

NATSO Urges FMCSA to Consider Effects of Regulatory Changes on Truck Parking Utilization

NATSO on Oct. 10 urged the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to evaluate and consider any effect that proposed changes to the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations would have on professional truck drivers’ ability to find safe and legal parking when they need it. NATSO filed the comments in response to FMCSA’s August notice regarding revisions to four specific areas of the federal rule that governs truck drivers' sleep and rest.

Anti-Tolling Coalition Criticizes Promotion of Failed Tolling Program

October 6, 2018

Anti-Tolling Coalition Criticizes Promotion of Failed Tolling Program

The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI) criticized the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) over the issuance of its recent notice soliciting participation in the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRPP). The ISRRPP is one of the few ways the federal government allows for tolls to be placed on existing interstates. The notice invites state Departments of Transportation to submit applications for three potential slots on a rolling basis until further notice, based on a directive from Congress.

FHWA Calls for Next Round of Alternative Fuel Corridor Nominations

October 6, 2018

FHWA Calls for Next Round of Alternative Fuel Corridor Nominations

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is seeking nominations for the next phase of its multi-year plan to establish alternative fuel corridors for alternative fueling stations as mandated under the December 2015 highway bill. Any state or local agency is allowed to nominate a corridor for an alternative fuel corridor designation, and NATSO members can work with state and local agencies to ensure that their alternative fuel locations are incorporated into the nomination process.

FHWA Seeks Applicants for Failed Tolling Pilot Program

October 4, 2018

FHWA Seeks Applicants for Failed Tolling Pilot Program

The Federal Highway Administration on Oct. 2 issued a notice soliciting State Department of Transportation participation in the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRPP), which would permit three states to collect tolls on existing Interstate highways for the purposes of reconstructing on rehabilitating Interstate Highway corridors.

House Approves FAA Reauthorization Bill Without Trucking Provision

September 27, 2018

House Approves FAA Reauthorization Bill Without Trucking Provision

The House on Sept. 26 voted 398 to 23 in favor of a five-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization that is expected to be approved by the Senate and could mark one of the last major pieces of legislation to be enacted before the midterm elections.

PHMSA Determines Federal Law Preempts California Break Requirements

September 25, 2018

PHMSA Determines Federal Law Preempts California Break Requirements

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) determined that federal law preempts California’s meal and rest break requirements for all motor vehicle operators that transport hazardous materials, granting a request from the National Tank Truck Carriers Association (NTTC).

Indiana Toll Road Rates Rising for Truck Drivers to Fund Governor’s $1 Billion Infrastructure Plan

September 11, 2018

Indiana Toll Road Rates Rising for Truck Drivers to Fund Governor’s $1 Billion Infrastructure Plan

Truck drivers who use the Indiana Toll Road could see toll rates rise by a whopping 35 percent if the Indiana Finance Authority approves a contract renegotiation with the toll road’s private operator at its Sept. 20 meeting. The rate increase was announced last week by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb as part of his Next Level Connections infrastructure plan to raise $1 billion for trails, broadband, roads and flights.

Seven States Eye Tolls

September 1, 2018

Seven States Eye Tolls

We all know that America’s infrastructure needs improvement. As time passes, it becomes more and more urgent for our elected officials to decide how best to finance the repairs and maintenance of the nation’s roads and bridges. Unfortunately, far too many continue to consider placing tolls on existing interstates. Tolling is a failed policy. New tolls waste revenue, double tax drivers, create traffic diversion and severely hurt local economies. Our nation simply cannot afford for tolling to become synonymous with transportation financing.

Rhode Island DOT Files Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Challenging Truck-Only Tolls

August 29, 2018

Rhode Island DOT Files Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Challenging Truck-Only Tolls

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the American Trucking Associations, Cumberland Farms Inc., M&M Transport Services and New England Motor Freight challenging the states truck-only tolls, arguing that they are asking the court to do something that it lacks jurisdiction to do. In a motion filed Aug. 24 in the U.S. District Court of Rhode Island, RIDOT cited the Tax Injunction Act, which restricts the power of the federal district courts to prevent the collection or enforcement of state taxes, as well as the 11th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

FMCSA Considers Tweaks to Hours-of-Service Regs

August 21, 2018

FMCSA Considers Tweaks to Hours-of-Service Regs

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on Aug. 21 announced that it is seeking public comment on revising four specific areas of the federal rules that govern truck driver's sleep and rest, also known as Hours of Service.

Anti-Tolling Coalition: Toll Studies Overpromise Riches

August 7, 2018

Anti-Tolling Coalition: Toll Studies Overpromise Riches

The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI) urged Connecticut residents to be wary of the state’s plan to study tolling of state highways citing a long history of tolling studies that have misled policymakers into thinking tolls are practical infrastructure funding solution, when in fact, they are not.

NATSO Analysis: Chairman Shuster Infrastructure Proposal

July 25, 2018

NATSO Analysis: Chairman Shuster Infrastructure Proposal

This week retiring House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) released draft legislation outlining his vision for enhanced infrastructure investment. The draft legislation is designed to facilitate a process whereby the United States can recalibrate how it pays for infrastructure as it moves into the middle part of the 21st Century, while at the same time providing a mechanism to adequately fund such investment in the near-term as the process plays out. Although many stakeholders -- including NATSO -- object to certain provisions in the draft legislation, it nonetheless represents a important continuation of -- and positive shift in -- the discussion President Trump started when he released his own infrastructure proposal earlier this year.

Congressman Shuster Unveils Infrastructure Vision

July 24, 2018

Congressman Shuster Unveils Infrastructure Vision

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) on July 23 unveiled his framework for the future of infrastructure policy, which included encouraging states to lease their infrastructure assets to the private sector as well as temporarily boosting the motor fuels tax until it can be replaced with per-mile fees.

House Transportation Committee Chairman to Issue Infrastructure Discussion Draft

July 19, 2018

House Transportation Committee Chairman to Issue Infrastructure Discussion Draft

Congressman Bill Shuster, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told reporters July 19 that he plans to put out a "discussion draft" on infrastructure before the House breaks for August recess.

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