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Press Release · February 26, 2003

Federal Formula Grants and California: Federal Highway Program

Congress will soon revise TEA-21, the nearly $30 billion comprehensive surface transportation law that governs policy and funding for federal highway programs. In fiscal year 2002, California received nearly 9 percent — $2.7 billion — of total federal highway dollars distributed through TEA-21.

For decades, many California lawmakers have questioned the equity of the formulas used to determine the state’s share of federal highway funds. Federal Formula Grants and California: Federal Highway Programs examines the mechanics of the federal highway formulas that determine funding levels for California and other states. It also analyzes possible formula-change scenarios and the state-by-state effects of those changes.

This report is the fourth in an ongoing series reviewing California’s share of federal formula grant programs. The series was developed at the request of the bipartisan leadership of California’s congressional delegation and is produced by PPIC in collaboration with the California Institute for Federal Policy Research.

We hope you find this and future products valuable, and we welcome your feedback as we seek to improve the public debate regarding this important subject. If you have any questions, please contact us by phone (Abby: 415/291-4436; Victoria: 415/291-4412) or email (;

The Public Policy Institute of California is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or state and federal legislation nor does it endorse or support any political parties or candidates for public office.