“President Clinton has said that how we fare as a nation far into the 21st century depends on what we do as a nation today,” said Rodney Slater, secretary of transportation. “This is not a time to rest, but a time to build, and this budget makes the investments we need to prepare for the new century.”
The proposed $50.5 billion fiscal year 2000 budget is $2.1 billion, or 4.5%, more than the current year's $48.4 billion budget.
The budget has a record $3.4 billion for direct safety programs, 8% more than the current year, including $1.3 billion for highway safety, which includes programs to fight drunk driving, increase seat belt and child safety seat use and get unsafe trucks off the road.
“Since transportation deaths occur mostly on our roads, we must continue to make them safer. That is why we want to increase NHTSA and FHWA safety funding to a combined $1.3 billion,” Slater said.
The budget calls for a record $28.4 billion to maintain highways and build new roads and bridges, including $126 million to improve border crossings and trade corridors and $81 million to leverage more than $2 billion in state and private financing for transportation projects.