New RITA slated for $39 million in funding
Mar 1, 2005 12:00 PM
The new Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) is earmarked to receive $39 million from the proposed 2006 Department of Transportation (DOT) budget, according to DOT information. The $59.5 billion budget request was presented February 7 by Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.
The other new agency, the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA), is to receive $131 million. These new agencies are part of the restructuring of the Research and Special Programs Administration. RITA is tasked with managing and coordinating the DOT research portfolio, while PHMSA will oversee the safety of the nation's pipelines and hazmat transportation.
DOT's budget request also includes a $28 billion funding increase for the six-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal. Reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), which expired Sept 30, 2003, was enacted June 9, 1998, and authorizes the federal surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety, and transit for the six-year period from 1998-2003. Congress extended the expiration deadline in 2003 and 2004. This bill remains in limbo with Congress expected to take action this year on the $284 billion request.
The 2006 budget proposal includes more money for highway safety programs, with the largest portion, $35.4 billion, requested for the Federal Highway Administration. Money for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would increase by $45 million in 2006, and would double over the life of the reauthorization proposal.
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