A Morning Update

Today is the formal release of the Administration's budget and it looks like there's almost 50 percent increase in transportation spending over six years. The budget isn't officially made public until 11:15 a.m. this morning but details have been leaking. Dow Jones reports that it will be a "six-year $476B proposal for roads and other surface transportation projects." Gasoline tax revenues would cover more than half and nearly half would be financed through savings from reduced military spending.

The surface transportation bill will be on the floor in both the House and Senate this week.

The House Republican leaders will be looking for the 218 votes needed to pass their $260B transportation bill this week. Conservatives say the bill is unaffordable, while Dems say it would hurt funding to public transportation.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) wrote an op-ed piece last week, For Highway Bill, the Old Way is Better Way, which appeared on Roll Call. In it he says, "It's a sad state of affairs because this process should offer a unique opportunity for people who care about rebuilding and renewing America, jump-starting the economy and bipartisan cooperation to produce meaningful transportation reform that addresses our most urgent needs." Read it at RollCall.com

It will be interesting to hear what everyone's saying about this at the South West Transit Association (SWTA) Annual Conference at the Sheraton Denver Downtown, in Denver, Colo., this week.

The conference started with a ski trip and welcome reception Sunday with the educational sessions and Expo starting today. Wednesday starts with legislative updates, including a national outlook by APTA President Michael Melaniphy.