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Notes from climbing Capitol Hill: August 10, 2020
It’s one of the stranger summers on record in Washington, and while August usually means lawmakers take a break from legislating and staff take vacations, this year the pressing needs of millions of Americans mean Congress is still in session. Here is what that means for the League’s federal advocacy:
Good news from last week
Last week, The Great American Outdoors Act, which will provide $900 million a year in guaranteed funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), was signed into law by the president. The LWCF reinvests revenue from offshore gas and drilling back into conservation and recreation projects in all 50 states, including biking trails, restrooms, trail improvements etc. The League thanks the International Mountain Bicycling Association for their work ensuring the bill addresses the trail maintenance backlog for the National Park Service and for ensuring the fund now covers the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.
What’s happening this week
As Congress debates further COVID-19 recovery measures, the League is supporting advocacy for $32 billion to save transit agencies. This funding would ensure transit can continue serving essential workers and essential trips, and can provide personal protection equipment for staff and enhanced cleaning services. Between the reduction in ridership and the increased cost of operating safely, many transit agencies are at risk of steep reductions in services or closing altogether. You can support transit by emailing Congress here and through the social media campaign #SaveTransit and #BikesforTransit.
The League is plugging away at long term policy change including passing the Bicycle Commuter Act and initiatives to improve bicycling and walking safety. Save the dates for September 14-21, United for Infrastructure Week, and September 21-27 is Bike There Week (and September 22nd is Bike to Work There Day, which also happens to be Car-Free Day.) We are working to see new legislation introduced in that time frame to make bicycling and walking safer through improved infrastructure and better vehicle design.