Federal Government's Stopgap Spending Bill Extended Transportation Funding Crucial for Oklahoma

Oct 5, 2020

President Donald Trump signed a stopgap spending bill last week before going to Walter Reed Medical Center because of COVID-19.

Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz told the state’s transportation commission on Monday that’s good news.

"That translates for the department of transportation to the point that we will have federal aid funding through Dec. 11. That will get us out of the starting blocks for federal fiscal year 21 and allow us to continue to make progress," Gatz said.

The spending bill also included a provision state transportation officials were watching for. The continuing resolution reauthorized the five-year Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, or FAST Act, which sends Oklahoma more than $600 million a year for road and bridge work and other transportation initiatives.

"The FAST Act was set to expire at the end of September. The Congress extended the FAST Act for an additional year, so it will carry us through federal fiscal year 21," Gatz said.

Oklahoma received nearly $699 million total from the FAST Act in federal fiscal year 20. Federal funds account for more than 40% of ODOT’s annual budget and factor heavily into its eight-year construction plan.

The current work plan runs through 2027 and includes almost $6.2 billion in projects.