President’s Budget Released

President Trump released his proposed fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget on Monday, March 11. Below are highlights from that budget proposal related to public works. APWA’s Government Affairs team will continue to monitor appropriations in Congress and continue to keep APWA members updated through Advocacy News, the Washington Report, and @APWAGOVAFFAIRS on Twitter.

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • The budget proposes fully funding the fifth and final year of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act law (Public Law 114-94), whose authorization will expire in September 2020;
  • Of special note regarding the FAST Act, the FY 2020 budget proposal does not address the contract authority rescission scheduled to occur on July 1, 2020—if this is not changed, the FAST Act will permanently rescind $7.56 billion in contract authority from states’ unobligated highway funds;
  • $21.4 billion is being requested in discretionary funds for U.S. DOT, which is a 22% decrease from FY 2019 enacted, and $62.2 billion in funding is proposed for mandatory spending;
  • The budget proposes $2.7 billion for the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Highway Safety Improvement Plan; $929 million for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; $676 million for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration;
  • For the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants, the budget proposes $1 billion and $2 billion is proposed for Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grants;
  • $300 million is being proposed for the Competitive Highway Bridge Program;
  • $12.4 billion is proposed for public transit programs, which is a decrease from enacted FY 2019 levels;
  • The President’s proposed budget seeks to restructure Amtrak and sets aside $550 million to assist with a transition to shorter train routes and increased intercity bus service, as well as $936 million for grants to Amtrak for direct investment in the Northeast corridor and existing state-supported lines.
The Trump Administration’s FY 2020 budget request included $6.1 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a reduction of over 30% from FY 2019 enacted levels. Within the Agency, the following requests were made:
  • $1.12 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), a decrease of over $570 million from FY 2019 enacted levels;
  • $863 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), a decrease of over $300 million from FY 2019 enacted levels; and
  • $25 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (WIFIA) program, a decrease of $43 million from FY 2019 enacted levels.

Elsewhere in water infrastructure programs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utility Service (RUS) programs would receive $1.2 billion for water and waste program loans, a reduction of over $200 million from the FY 2019 enacted level. Additionally, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would receive no funding after getting $3.3 billion in FY19.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

  • DHS would receive $51.7 billion dollars which is a $3.6 billion increase from the
FY 2019 request of $48.1 billion. Although not broken down into more specific detail, the budget request does call for approximately $19 billion in disaster relief. It does also request $1 billion in additional funds for cybersecurity to be dispersed among several DHS departments, however the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) would have primary oversight of these funds.
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
  • DOE’s newly created Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) would receive $157 million for grid cybersecurity. This amount is a $61 million increase from the previous budget request. Additionally, Congress provided $120 million in the current budget for CESER.

U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)

  • DOI (Wildfires): $919.9 million for the Wildland Fire Management programs. This amount includes $383.7 million for wildfire suppression.

U.S. Department of Education (DOE)

  • $1.3 billion is proposed for Career and Technical Education (CTE) state grants intended to ensure access to technical education, certificate programs, community colleges, and apprenticeships.