Latest Short-Term Federal Spending Bill Delivers Good News to ODOT

Dec 2, 2019

It’s good news on two fronts for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation in the latest short-term federal spending bill.

The continuing resolution signed by President Trump ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday was the second short-term spending bill needed to avert a government shutdown this year, but it means uninterrupted federal funds for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation through Dec. 20.

Previous delays in federal funding have forced ODOT to push back projects.

Lawmakers also used the continuing resolution to restore $7.6 billion in national transportation funds set to be canceled in the near future.

"That was good news for the department because the Oklahoma portion of that recision was estimated to be about $56 million. So, with that rescission off the table now, those dollars are not jeopardized," said ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz.

The automatic funding cut was set up in 2015. Some states were in line to lose hundreds of millions of dollars.

Though it’s not in the spending bill, Gatz sayid there’s also federal funding available for ODOT’s new Office Mobility and Public Transit.

"The federal dollars that were in play as part of that amounted to about $8.5 million. Those funds are available now for the department to apply for," Gatz said.

ODOT is taking over responsibility from the Department of Human Services for transit planning and services for seniors and people with disabilities.