Increased Powell Bill funding -- an important advocacy goal of cities and towns -- is just one early feature of the House budget expected on the voting floor before long. House appropriations committees -- covering individual budget topics from transportation to public safety to education to information technology and more -- reconvened this week (and on Friday morning, as of this writing) to go over proposals for the broader draft spending bill. While full details are ahead, the committees' reports reveal some components of the House budget of interest to cities and towns.
In Powell Bill funds, the House transportation budget includes $162.3 million in fiscal year 2020 and $177 million in fiscal year 2021 for municipalities to maintain road infrastructure. That's an additional $14.75 million next year, and then another $14.75 million on top of that for the following year. The transportation recommendations also include a restoration of funds in the State Maintenance Assistance Program, or SMAP, which supports transit systems -- another municipal advocacy goal addressed. Further, the plan adds $75 million in recurring money for commercial airports, again speaking to a public transportation goal.
The House budget is a recommendation that must conform with Senate priorities for a final draft the legislature can approve and send the governor for consideration. The League will be working to summarize the full budget when released and will share its components with cities and towns.