Perlmutter Supports Long-Term Surface Transportation Bill

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Washington, DC, December 3, 2015 | comments

Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) voted to support the bipartisan conference report on H.R. 22, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act which included reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. In addition, Rep. Perlmutter authored two provisions included in H.R. 22 to benefit the people of the 7th Congressional District.

“I’m pleased Congress worked together to achieve the first long-term surface transportation bill in ten years. This bipartisan legislation will provide $281 billion in guaranteed funding for highway, transit and transportation safety programs over the next five years, including more than $3.4 billion in direct highway and transit formula funds for Colorado. This will provide certainty to help create jobs, repair our aging infrastructure, improve public transit, and strengthen our economy. In addition, reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank will help promote exports by U.S. companies – including at least 18 small businesses in my district – and support more than 160,000 U.S. jobs.

“I’m also pleased that H.R. 22 includes two provisions I authored which will have tangible benefits for the people of the 7th Congressional District. One measure will help ease the regulatory requirements placed on housing authorities and their tenants while still ensuring accountability, while the other measure will work to update and modernize train horn requirements to provide communities flexibility and keep the public safe.”

H.R. 22 includes two provisions Rep. Perlmutter introduced to benefit the people of the 7th Congressional District:

· In March 2015, Rep. Perlmutter introduced H.R. 233, the Tenant Income Verification Relief Act to allow tenants on a fixed income have their income certified and/or verified once every three years rather than annually. The legislation helps streamline and reduce the burdens placed on tenants for purposes of determining their eligibility for certain Federal assistance housing programs, including seniors and other individuals and families who consistently maintain a fixed income. The legislation could also incentivize more privately-owned housing operators to accept vouchers, since the stock of public housing continues to face fiscal pressures providing tenants more flexibility and choice.

· In March 2015, Rep. Perlmutter introduced a measure to evaluate the effectiveness of the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) 2005 rule on the use of locomotive horns at rail crossings. The measure requires the Government Accountability Office to study the train horn rule to improve public safety by providing communities flexibility to establish Quiet Zones, as well as modernize regulations to allow flexibility for new technologies and innovations. This is an important issue for constituents who feel train horn noise is a nuisance and stifles economic development and can help communities invest in additional safety measures at railway crossings. Last year, Rep. Perlmutter successfully advocated for the establishment of a new Quiet Zone in Commerce City. Earlier this year, the City of Arvada also recently announced four planned railway-crossing improvements to establish Quiet Zones. 

Lastly, the conference committee report included a requirement for states to study their automated traffic enforcement systems and report on their “transparency, accountability and safety attributes.” This provision is a result of increased scrutiny on the use of photo red light and photo radar systems after Rep. Perlmutter introduced H.R. 950, the Prohibiting Automated Traffic Enforcement Act.  Rep. Perlmutter looks forward to these studies to better inform Congress and the states on the excessive use of these devices.      

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