New Cornyn, Weber Bill Would Protect Federal Transit Funding for Cities Hit with Natural Disasters
by John Cornyn on August 1, 2017 at 8:19 AM
U.S. Representative Randy Weber (TX-14) and I recently introduced the Relief for Recovering Communities Act, legislation to protect federal transit funding for communities plagued by population decline following natural disasters.
Currently, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) apportions federal transit assistance to urbanized areas based on population, so when residents leave an area following a natural disaster, that population decline may trigger a loss in federal transit formula dollars. The Relief for Recovering Communities Act would protect urbanized areas from being penalized due to a population drop directly tied to a Presidentially-declared natural disaster retroactive to 2000, and ensures no interruption in federal transit funding assistance for urbanized areas until the execution of the next Decennial Census.
When natural disasters strike, we must do everything we can to help Texans get back on their feet. This bill will ensure that the folks who need to rebuild along the coast can be eligible for the full federal aid they’re entitled to without being unfairly penalized.
"Natural disasters are devastating and unpredictable. Current law fails to take into account the impact of these emergencies on federal census numbers. As such, communities are falling through the cracks,” said Rep. Weber. “With skewed census population numbers, communities are prevented from even applying for transit resources that lead to overall growth. Our legislation provides a simple fix by allowing for the use of the most updated population estimates when applying for grants.”