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S. 726 (is) To establish a matching grant program to help State and local jurisdictions purchase bullet resistant equipment for use by law enforcement departments. [Introduced in Senate] ...
108th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 725 To amend the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century to provide from the Highway Trust Fund additional funding for Indian reservation roads, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES March 27, 2003 Mr. Bingaman (for himself, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Dayton, and Mr. Leahy) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To amend the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century to provide from the Highway Trust Fund additional funding for Indian reservation roads, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Tribal Transportation Program Improvement Act of 2003''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE. (a) Findings.--Congress finds that-- (1) because many Indian tribes are located in remote areas, transportation is particularly important to the basic quality of life and economic development of Indian tribes; (2) safe roads are essential for-- (A) Indian children to travel to and from school; (B) sick and elderly individuals to receive basic health care and medical treatment; and (C) food and other necessities to be delivered to shops and consumers; (3) transportation is critical to the efforts of Indian tribes to-- (A) sustain robust economies; and (B) attract new jobs and businesses; (4) most Indian tribes lack the basic transportation systems that other people in the United States take for granted; (5) Indian communities continue to lag behind the rest of the United States in quality of life and economic vitality; (6) unemployment rates in Indian country frequently exceed 50 percent, and poverty rates often exceed 40 percent; (7) the limited availability of housing and jobs on Indian reservations forces people to commute long distances each day to travel to work or school, obtain health care, take advantage of basic government services, go shopping, or even obtain drinking water; (8) the Indian reservation roads system established under title 23, United States Code, comprises more than 50,000 miles of roads under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and tribal, State, county, and local governments; (9) more than \2/3\ of those roads are not paved, and many resemble roads in third-world countries; (10) as of the date of enactment of this Act, approximately 140 of the 753 bridges under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs are rated as being deficient; (11) The Indian reservation roads system serves both Indians and the general public and is part of a unified national road network; (12) even though the Indian reservation roads system is perhaps the most rudimentary of any transportation network in the United States, more than 2,000,000,000 vehicle miles are traveled annually on the system; (13) the poor quality of so many Indian reservation roads has a serious impact on highway safety; (14) according to the Federal Highway Administration, the highway fatality rate on Indian reservation roads is 4 times the national average highway fatality rate on all roads; (15) automobile accidents are the primary cause of death for young Indian individuals; and (16) the Federal Highway Administration estimates the backlog of improvement needs for Indian reservation roads at approximately $6,800,000,000. (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to reauthorize, expand, and streamline the Indian reservation roads program to improve transportation safety and better meet the needs of Indian individuals and other members of the traveling public. SEC. 3. INDIAN RESERVATION ROADS. (a) Authorization of Appropriations.--Section 1101(a)(8)(A) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (112 Stat. 112) is amended by striking ``of such title'' and all that follows and inserting ``of that title-- ``(i) $225,000,000 for fiscal year 1998; ``(ii) $275,000,000 for each of fiscal years 1999 through 2003; ``(iii) $350,000,000 for fiscal year 2004; ``(iv) $425,000,000 for fiscal year 2005; and ``(v) $500,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2009.''. (b) Obligation Ceiling.--Section 1102(c)(1) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (23 U.S.C. 104 note; 112 Stat. 116) is amended-- (1) by striking ``distribute obligation'' and inserting the following: ``distribute-- ``(A) obligation''; (2) by inserting ``and'' after the semicolon at the end; and (3) by adding at the end the following: ``(B) for any fiscal year after fiscal year 2003, any amount of obligation authority made available for Indian reservation road bridges under section 202(d)(4), and for Indian reservation roads under section 204, of title 23, United States Code;''. (c) Indian Reservation Road Bridges.--Section 202(d)(4) of title 23, United States Code, is amended-- (1) in subparagraph (B)-- (A) by striking ``(B) Reservation.--Of the amounts'' and all that follows through ``to replace,'' and inserting the following: ``(B) Funding.-- ``(i) Reservation of funds.-- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, there is authorized to be appropriated from the Highway Trust Fund $15,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2009 to carry out planning, design, engineering, construction, and inspection of projects to replace,''; and (B) by adding at the end the following: ``(ii) Availability.--Funds made available to carry out this subparagraph shall be available for obligation in the same manner as if the funds were apportioned under chapter 1.''; and (2) in subparagraph (D)-- (A) by striking ``(D) Approval requirement.--'' and inserting the following: ``(D) Approval and need requirements.--''; and (B) by striking ``only on approval of the plans, specifications, and estimates by the Secretary.'' and inserting ``only-- ``(i) on approval by the Secretary of plans, specifications, and estimates relating to the projects; and ``(ii) in amounts directly proportional to the actual need of each Indian reservation, as determined by the Secretary based on the number of deficient bridges on each reservation and the projected cost of rehabilitation of those bridges.''. (d) Fair and Equitable Distribution.--Section 202(d) of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(5) Fair and equitable distribution.--To ensure that the distribution of funds to an Indian tribe under this subsection is fair, equitable, and based on valid transportation needs of the Indian tribe, the Secretary shall-- ``(A) verify the existence, as of the date of the distribution, of all roads that are part of the Indian reservation road system; and ``(B) distribute funds based only on those roads.''. (e) Indian Reservation Road Planning.--Section 204(j) of title 23, United States Code, is amended in the first sentence by striking ``2 percent'' and inserting ``4 percent''. SEC. 4. FEDERAL LANDS HIGHWAY PROGRAM DEMONSTRATION PROJECT. Section 202(d)(3) of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(C) Federal lands highway program demonstration project.-- ``(i) In general.--The Secretary shall establish a demonstration project under which all funds made available under this title for Indian reservation roads and for highway bridges located on Indian reservation roads as provided for in subparagraph (A) shall be made available, on the request of an affected Indian tribal government, to the Indian tribal government for use in carrying out, in accordance with the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.), contracts and agreements for the planning, research, engineering, and construction described in that subparagraph. ``(ii) Exclusion of agency participation.-- In accordance with subparagraph (B), all funds for Indian reservation roads and for highway bridges located on Indian reservation roads to which clause (i) applies shall be paid without regard to the organizational level at which the Federal lands highway program has previously carried out the programs, functions, services, or activities involved. ``(iii) Selection of participating tribes.-- ``(I) Participants.-- ``(aa) In general.--For each fiscal year, the Secretary shall select 12 geographically diverse Indian tribes from the applicant pool described in subclause (II) to participate in the demonstration project carried out under clause (i). ``(bb) Consortia.--Two or more Indian tribes that are otherwise eligible to participate in a program or activity to which this title applies may form a consortium to be considered as a single tribe for the purpose of becoming part of the applicant pool under subclause (II). ``(cc) Funding.--An Indian tribe participating in the pilot program under this subparagraph shall receive funding in an amount equal to the sum of the funding that the Indian tribe would otherwise receive in accordance with the funding formula established under the other provisions of this subsection, and an additional percentage of that amount equal to the percentage of funds withheld during the applicable fiscal year for the road program management costs of the Bureau of Indian Affairs under subsection (f)(1). ``(II) Applicant pool.--The applicant pool described in this subclause shall consist of each Indian tribe (or consortium) that-- ``(aa) has successfully completed the planning phase described in subclause (III); ``(bb) has requested participation in the demonstration project under this subparagraph through the adoption of a resolution or other official action by the tribal governing body; and ``(cc) has demonstrated financial stability and financial management capability in accordance with subclause (III) during the 3-fiscal year period immediately preceding the fiscal year for which participation under this subparagraph is being requested. ``(III) Criteria for determining financial stability and financial management capacity.--For the purpose of subclause (II), evidence that, during the 3-year period referred to in subclause (II)(cc), an Indian tribe had no uncorrected significant and material audit exceptions in the required annual audit of the Indian tribe's self- determination contracts or self- governance funding agreements with any Federal agency shall be conclusive evidence of the required stability and capability. ``(IV) Planning phase.-- ``(aa) In general.--An Indian tribe (or consortium) requesting participation in the demonstration project under this subparagraph shall complete a planning phase that shall include legal and budgetary research and internal tribal government and organization preparation. ``(bb) Eligibility.--A
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