Consideration of issues related to the federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA). Herb Williams (Air Policy and Regulations Division) and Al Giles (Transportation Planning Emissions & Assessment Team) presented this item. The Commissioners -
- support a broader policy to involve state and local groups to ensure that the transportation funds are spent appropriately and wisely;
- support initiatives such as the "STEP21" proposal, which would provide the State's highway money through a block grant and would increase the annual transportation funding by approximately $165 million per year;
- instructed staff to send the letter drafted by staff from the Commissioners to Congressman DeLay regarding this legislation on transportation funding with a few minor changes regarding State Implementation Plans and metropolitan planning organizations as a key component of the letter;
- will update any past Commission positions, if necessary; and
- received a report from a Texas Department of Transportation representative on the State's leadership's role in this legislation.
Chairman McBee moved that the Commission approve these positions. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Baker and passed unanimously.