Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has been notified by the Federal Highway Administration that $51.9 million in federal funds will be rescinded from the department’s federal allocation of funds for fiscal year 2011. A rescission of funds means that federal dollars promised to Tennessee have now been cancelled and will not be received.
The rescission of funds is a separate issue from the debt limit discussions currently underway by federal lawmakers.
“Nearly 50% of the department’s budget comes from the federal government, so a reduction in these funds significantly impacts the resources available to TDOT,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “This shortfall requires the department to make difficult decisions in our core highway programs,” Schroer continued, “We don’t want to make cuts anywhere that would delay the delivery of projects that are ready to go.”
TDOT is currently operating under a series of continuing resolutions through “SAFETEA-LU” (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users), the federal transportation funding bill, which expired September 30, 2009 and funds are being distributed only months at a time. However, authorized funding levels have been significantly reduced by rescissions annually since 2002, with a cumulative impact of more than $463 million.
Programs impacted by the latest federal rescission include the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) and the Transportation Enhancements Program. TDOT plans to deliver the remaining projects now under development in these programs with future federal funds.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Section 2201 of the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, contains a $2.5 billion rescission of unobligated balances of funds apportioned to the States of which Tennessee’s share is $51,950,327.