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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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Highway & Transportation

March 18, 2016

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) this week extended for one year a pilot program allowing state DOTs to include a geographic-based (local) hiring preference as a contract requirement on federally-assisted highway construction projects. The pilot was originally set to expire on March 6, 2015. When first proposed US DOT simultaneously proposed a new rule allowing the use of local hire requirements on a permanent basis. Thus far eight states have asked for and received permission to use local hire requirements as part of the FHWA pilot program. US DOT has indicated that it intends to approve and evaluate the results of these projects under the pilot program before deciding how to proceed with its proposed rule.

March 18, 2016

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) addressed AGC’s Highway and Transportation Division today during AGC’s 97th Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Chairman Brady’s committee is responsible for tax issues in the House including Highway Trust Fund motor fuel tax revenue. He said he was pleased that Congress was able to find sufficient revenue last year to fund the FAST Act for the next five years but he believes we need to get back to a user fee based revenue source. He reported that transportation committee chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) is organizing a summit of the key House members and outside stakeholders to discuss the best route to a long term sustainable solution..


March 4, 2016

This week, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) indicated that he and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA.) are close to agreement on a three-month extension of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs.  This extension will be necessary to allow for the House and Senate to work through the legislative process.  The current authorization expires on March 31.

March 4, 2016

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Although Congress’ recently-passed highway and transit bill, the FAST Act, temporarily stabilizes highway and transportation programs, legislators have so far failed to address the root cause of the funding shortfalls that have plagued the Highway Trust Fund since 2008. Additionally, a short-term extension of federal aviation programs expires at the end of March, and Congress is working on a multi-year bill to fund those programs.

February 27, 2016

Talks of Extension Begin

Talk about passing a short-term extension of the Aviation Innovation Reform and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act swirled around Capitol Hill this week.  Although the Act passed out of committee in early February, the House has not made plans to consider the bill on the floor prior to its expiration on March 31. 

February 27, 2016

This week, AGC of America President and CEO, Steve Sandherr joined other transportation leaders in a panel discussion at the Association of American State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Washington Briefing to discuss the passage of the surface transportation reauthorization, the FAST Act.

February 26, 2016

AGC joined with nine other construction industry groups in a letter to Federal Highway Administrator Greg Nadeau asking the agency to complete action on a proposed rule clarifying the applicability of Buy America requirements for manufactured products that may contain steel elements and for incidental products such as nuts, bolts and washers. In December 2012, the agency issued guidance to its division offices clarifying that:

February 25, 2016

AGC’s 97th Annual Convention will be held March 9-11, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. Please visit for registration information. Below is a preview of some of the Convention sessions.

February 12, 2016

AGC Seeks Increased Funding for Airport Infrastructure

Today, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee officially kicked-off the reauthorization process for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with a markup of the Aviation Innovation Reform and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act.  The AIRR Act, which fundamentally transforms air traffic control operations, is expected to pass the committee later this evening.  It is important that representatives and senators hear from AGC members about the need for increased funding for airport runway and infrastructure projects The FAA is currently operating under an extension that expires on March 31.

February 12, 2016

Includes 13 Percent Increase in Federal Construction Accounts

On Feb. 9, President Obama released his $4.1 trillion budget for fiscal year 2017, which proposes $1.215 trillion in discretionary defense and non-defense spending in FY 2017 and $2.565 trillion in mandatory spending.  The budget, which stays within the discretionary spending limits set last November in the Bipartisan Budget Act, has been declared dead on arrival by Republican Congressional leaders.  For the first time in 41 years, the House and Senate budget committees will not hold hearings with the president’s budget director.


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