Senate bill would allow states to opt out of federal programs

| 8/1/2011

A bill in the U.S. Senate would allow state departments of transportation to opt out of federal transportation programs and make their own decisions regarding fuel-tax revenue.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, and 13 cosponsors introduced S1446, the State Transportation Flexibility Act, on Thursday, July 28.

“The State Transportation Flexibility Act that would allow state transportation departments to opt out of the Federal-Aid Highway and Mass Transit programs. Instead, these states would be able to manage and spend the gas tax revenue collected within their state on transportation projects without federal mandates or restrictions,” the senators said in a joint statement.

Supporters say the states are in a better position to determine their transportation needs than Washington.

Republican cosponsors for the bill include Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Mike Lee of Utah, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Rand Paul of Kentucky, David Vitter of Louisiana, Jon Kyl of Arizona, John Cornyn of Texas; Orrin Hatch of Utah, Daniel Coats of Indiana, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, and Rob Portman of Ohio.