House transportation appropriations subcommittee Chairman John W. Olver (D-Mass.) gave Transpor tation Secretary Mary E. Peters a cordial reception at a Feb. 7 hearing on the department’s 2009 budget proposal, but he criticized key parts of the request.

Olver says the 2009 proposal “in many respects is a carbon copy of the budget submitted by the President last year and does little to meet our future challenges.” He says the plan doesn’t meet guaranteed highway and transit authorizations and would cut airport construction grants by 22%.

Olver says that he’s especially concerned about a proposal to cov er a projected deficit in the High way Trust Fund highway account by borrowing from the fund's transit account. “This is a very temporary and, I believe, short-sighted fix,” he says.