On Monday, November 16th, the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (the Act) was signed into law. Included in the Act is the reauthorization of funds and the addition of new funds for numerous agencies including the Mississippi Transportation Department of Transportation (MDOT).
“What this is not, is a fourth economic stimulus package to be compared to the CARES Act, CRRSSAA funds or HARPA money that is delivered to the states with an infrastructure focus,” said Brad White, MDOT Executive Director. “All of this money will be put through the programs of Federal Highway and will have to meet the criteria for which they allow for those expenditures to be made.”
The Act was authorized through The Federal-Aid Highway Program (the Program). The Program is funded from federal taxes on fuel, tire sales and other items which are deposited into the Federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF), as well as General Fund transfers. Distribution from the HTF is subject to periodic authorization and annual appropriation by Congress.
This assistance was created by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, and since its establishment the Program has been authorized 15 times in various forms at generally increasing funding levels.
Most recently, the Program was reauthorized by the FAST Act in 2015 for FFY 2016-2020 and by the Act in 2021 for FFY 2022-2026.
Through the FAST Act MDOT received around $2.6 billion; the Act reapproved those funds with the addition of nearly $1 billion more spread over five years.