Law360 Quotes Susan Lent on Long-Term Transportation Bill

Akin Gump transportation partner Susan Lent was quoted by Law360 for its article “Transportation Legislation And Regulation To Watch,” on extension of the Highway Trust Fund, which, the article notes, pays for the U.S. highway system as well as other infrastructure projects related to transportation. Law360 states that fuel taxes, which historically had replenished the fund, have not been raised in more than 20 years, a series of short-term patches taking their place.

Lent, whose practice focuses on compliance with federal transportation laws and regulations, said, “From a planning perspective, there’s a need for a long-term bill. Unfortunately, it does not appear that Congress will be able to make the hard decisions about how to fund transportation. Basically, how to have a user fee type system that works.”

She continued, “A long-term bill would allow states and project sponsors to make decisions on what they can budget for in the future. They need to know what they can plan for and what’s potentially going to be out there and available, rather than being forced to make decisions regarding long-term projects knowing only that funding will be available for a three-month or six-month period. That makes it very difficult to plan larger-scale projects.”