Last week, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act. This $1.5 trillion collection of spending programs is intended to address the country’s aging infrastructure while at the same time create jobs to lessen the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn. The fate of the bill is uncertain at best, as both the Senate and the Trump administration have signaled strong disagreement with the legislation. An awareness of key aspects of the bill, however, is important for local government leaders as sections of the massive proposal may find their way into other legislation that does become law.
The vast scope of the 2,000-page bill makes it impossible to summarize every aspect in one article. In fact, published summaries alone are nearly one hundred pages long. Instead, below we highlight some of the more interesting components local government officials may want to monitor within the following key public sectors.
The Moving Forward Act includes significant revisions to federal economic development programs. These changes strengthen the tools available to communities and businesses by providing additional benefits and continuity of programs. Revisions include:
The H.R. 2 bill brings back and extends several popular local government financing tools, including:
H.R. 2 reinstates a popular funding mechanism from the Great Recession era and provides new grant programs for school facilities improvements, such as:
The Moving Forward Act reauthorizes federal highway funding and establishes several new programs for state and local road infrastructure improvements, including:
H.R. 2 identifies billions of dollars for energy, water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure enhancements, including:
As mentioned above, H.R. 2 has likely reached the extent of its legislative life. Various individual provisions of The Moving Forward Act, however, have bipartisan support and may see enactment in other pieces of legislation. We will continue to monitor this bill and provide updates as additional Congressional activity takes place.
For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly public sector specialists can help your entity, contact our team.