April 22, 2016

The Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee unanimously approved the fiscal year 2017 budget for the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) which includes FAST Act investment levels for federal-aid highways ($43.266 billion) and transit ($9.734 billion). Additionally, the bill provides $525 million for the TIGER grants, $2.338 billion for transit Capital Investment Grants and $3.35 billion for Airport Improvement Program grants.

April 22, 2016

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking this week detailing performance measurements for congestion, freight and on-road mobile source emissions for the national highway System which it was required to do in the 2013 “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP-21) reauthorization law. The notice, however, proposes to go beyond MAP-21 requirements by attempting to use the rulemaking to address the Administration’s climate agenda by expanding the proposed rule to include greenhouse gas emissions.

April 8, 2016

After overcoming some procedural blocks, the Senate began consideration on Thursday of legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Some 100 amendments have been introduced and more are expected, however, it is anticipated that action on the measure could be completed as early as the end of next week. Extraneous issues such as the extension of several expired tax provisions could slow things down but compromises are being worked out to keep the legislation on track. The nearly two-year authorization provides a $400 million increase in 2017 for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) but does not lift the volume cap on the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) program.  The AIP and PFC are the main funding and financing mechanisms for airport and runway infrastructure projects.  

April 8, 2016

AGC of South Dakota held a press conference in Rapid City and held other state wide awareness events in conjunction with officials from South Dakota DOT, SD Highway Patrol, Department of Public Safety and Federal Highway Administration in recognition of Work Zone Awareness Week April 11-15, 2016. Many other AGC chapters are holding their own events to raise awareness with the public about dangers in work zones to workers and motorists alike.  This year’s theme is "Don't Be THAT Driver: Work on Safety. Get Home Safely. Every Day."

April 8, 2016

In comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), AGC pointed out the difficulty the construction industry is having finding qualified truck drivers with Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL) and urged that new rules not make the shortage worse. The comments were directed at a proposed rule that FMCSA has developed requiring minimum training requirements for entry-level truck drivers.

April 6, 2016

The Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works will hold a hearing concerning “the Federal Role in Keeping Water/Wastewater Infrastructure Affordable.” AGC submitted testimony for the record emphasizing support for several financing tools that would help contractors and their local government partners build the nation’s water/wastewater infrastructure. AGC called for increased appropriations to the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Funds (SRFs), enacting a long-term dedicated revenue stream for water/wastewater infrastructure (like a water trust fund), resurrecting the Build America bonds program, funding the new WIFIA program of direct federal loans and loan guarantees, and unlocking private capital by making private activity bonds for water and sewer exempt from the PAB volume cap. AGC and its coalition partners in the Water Infrastructure Network will continue to advocate for every method of increasing funding and financing for water/wastetwaer infrastructure.

March 25, 2016

Contact Your Member of Congress During Spring Recess and Urge them to Support Increased Airport Infrastructure Funding

Before the House of Representatives left on their two-week spring recess, its members passed a bill to extend Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs through mid-July. AGC has been pushing Congress to increase funding for the Airport Improvement Program and modernize the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) program.  With the House out until April 11 and the Senate out until April 4, now is a great opportunity for AGC members to contact their members of Congress while they are home and urge them to pass a FAA Reauthorization bill that includes these two AGC-supported reforms. 

March 24, 2016

This week the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced it was making $15 million available for grants to test alternative revenue mechanisms to address the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund. 

March 18, 2016

House and Senate Pass Competing Extensions

This week, the Senate Commerce Committee passed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2016. The nearly two-year authorization provides a $400 million increase in 2017 for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) but does not lift the volume cap on the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) program.  The AIP and PFC are the main funding and financing mechanisms for airport and runway infrastructure projects.  Prior to the committee’s consideration, AGC sent a letter supporting the increase in the AIP and asking for the Senate to consider an increase in the PFC as the legislative process moves forward.

March 18, 2016

House Budget Committee approved the week of March 14 a fiscal year 2017 budget resolution by a 20-16 vote.  Republicans on the Budget Committee say their $3.9 trillion plan would reduce deficits by $7 trillion over 10 years, without increasing taxes, by cutting $6.5 trillion in government spending.  The budget maintains the $1.07 trillion cap for discretionary spending in fiscal year 2017 that was set in last year’s bipartisan budget agreement – a level opposed by members of the House Freedom Caucus who want greater reductions in discretionary spending. Interestingly the Freedom Caucus opposition may lead to a continuing resolution that will result in a defense spending cut of more than $2 billion.


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