FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2020
(Washington, D.C.) – On December 21, lawmakers released text for the combined $900 COVID relief package and $1.4 trillion appropriations package funding the government through September 30, 2021. As a result of the continued advocacy of the Coalition for the Northeast Corridor (CNEC), the bill includes language expanding project eligibility for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair (SOGR) Program to include planning, engineering, environmental, construction, and design elements. The House and Senate are expected to vote on the package today. President Trump has signaled his willingness to sign the bill into law.
“The CNEC is proud to report that language explicitly clarifying the original intent of the SOGR program is included in the combined COVID relief and Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 omnibus package. The Coalition has long advocated for this important change,” said Mike Friedberg CNEC Executive Director. “Because of the advocacy of our members, the SOGR program can now be used to support many essential capital projects along the Northeast Corridor (NEC), including preliminary and final design, environmental and related clearances, and acquiring necessary rights-of-way.”
Language: For necessary expenses related to Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Grants as authorized by section 24911 of title 49, United States Code, $200,000,000, to remain available until expended: Provided, That expenses incidental to the acquisition or construction (including designing, engineering, location surveying, mapping, environmental studies, and acquiring rights-of-way) of a capital project as defined under section 24911(a)(2) of title 49, United States Code, are eligible for funding independently or in conjunction with proposed funding for construction: Provided further, That the Secretary may withhold up to 1 percent of the amount provided under this heading for the costs of award and project management oversight of grants carried out under section 24911 of title 49, United States Code.
CNEC is the business community’s voice for strengthening rail infrastructure in order to reduce congestion, create jobs and grow the economy. We represent diverse stakeholders who rely on the Corridor to conduct commerce, access customers, and transport employees.