Connecting the Links
By now you have seen several posts in this blog talking about the process that goes into funding park and recreation programs. Very likely not everyone knows all that goes into the proverbial sausage-making, with some Members of Congress having more influence than others, all the behind the scenes squabbling, and the obvious disorganization trying to create something that actually looks organized when it’s finished. Actually, you might not want to know the details. If laws really are like sausages, maybe it is better not to see them being made. In any case, here’s a quick lesson on this often not-so-appetizing process.
The Reincarnation of the World's Largest Landfill
The New York Times recently ran an article on about the future Freshkills Park in Staten Island New York. The article caught my attention because for 53 years Freshkills was the final destination for New York City's trash, making it
Tick, Tock …
Congressional leaders are frantically seeking agreement on an extension of the current continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government at FY11 levels that is set to expire at midnight on Friday, November 18. The extension is needed in order for Congress to complete its work on the FY12 spending bills. On Monday night, the House Appropriations Committee released a joint House-Senate conference report on the first miniature omnibus (“minibus”) bill which, if passed, would also fund the government through December 16th via the attachment of the CR extension; thus averting a partial government shutdown. Among the departments provided for in this report is Transportation; significantly, the Transportation Enhancements (TE) funding has been retained in the conference’s final DOT appropriation for FY12 despite the best efforts of its opponents during Senate floor consideration.
Down But Not Out
The full Senate Environmental and Public Works (EPW) Committee unanimously approved its bipartisan two-year highway reauthorization bill (S. 1813) today by an 18-0 vote. The bill, known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (or MAP 21), as drafted will dramatically reduce the available funding for Transportation Enhancements (TE), the Rails to Trails Program (RTP) and Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) by consolidating them into the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) fund.