Law Expires September 30, 2020
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act expires on September 30, 2020. A reauthorization is necessary to keep highway and transit program funding from being disrupted. A long-term bill of 5 to 6 years is the best option because it allows states to do long term planning in their highway, bridge and transit construction programs. The history with this legislation for the past two bills was not good with multiple last minute short term extensions. Very disruptive for construction planning by state DOTs, local transit agencies and the contractors that build their projects. There is hope that this time may be different.
Congress and Administration Focus on Solving Problem
Both the Congress and the Administration have talked about doing an infrastructure investment bill in this Congress. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) wants to focus on a transportation reauthorization bill as the infrastructure bill. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) talks about doing an infrastructure bill and a transportation reauthorization bill. However, given time pressures and the Senate’s position on doing only one major bill, transportation reauthorization seems likely to be the primary infrastructure vehicle. Both the House and Senate staffs are starting to the process of drafting legislation. AGC has meet with both staffs to deliver our positions on transportation reauthorization issues.
AGC Reauthorization Recommendations
While the funding issue gets the most attention, the legislation covers multiple issues that have a direct impact on highway and transit construction practices and therefore highway and transit contractors. AGC’s Highway and Transportation Division appointed a task force that has been at work for several months to identify AGC positions on a wide variety of issues.
Task Force Members: Chair George Palko, Great Lakes Construction, Hindley, Ohio; Seth Shulgen, Williams Brothers, Houston, TX; , Jeff Firth, Hamilton Construction, Springfiled, OR; Kyle Phillips, Herzog Construction, St. Joseph, MO; Tom Foss, Griffith Construction, Brea, Cal; Ken Kubacki, Granite Construction, Wattsonville, Cal; Max Kuney, Max Kuney Co, Spokane, WA.
The task force’s recommendations were adopted at AGC’s Convention in Denver. Those recommendations are attached here for your review and use. These are AGC’s priorities, but as often happens there will be other issues that come to the surface that we either support or oppose and we will keep you informed of these as they are identified.
Drive to Reauthorization
AGC has also developed this newsletter “Drive to Reauthorization” to bring you the latest information about the reauthorization and to call for action when needed. The “hardhats for highways” grassroots site is ready for you and your employees to use in delivering grassroots messages. Your assistance in communicating with your Congressional delegation is key to our success here in Washington. Please let us know what we can do to help you help us. Please feel free to contact me or Sean O’Neill (email@example.com 703-547-8892) or Jimmy Christianson (firstname.lastname@example.org 703-547-5325) with any questions or intelligence.
AGC Takes Message to Senate
Senior Vice President Bob Lanham presented AGC’s positions in the opening hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee about the need to provide much-needed funding to address the Nation’s transportation and infrastructure needs, and specifically about addressing the Highway Trust Fund’s revenue shortfall. Lanham pointed out that the American people, President Trump, bipartisan members of Congress and members of the stakeholder community have all expressed the need for a bold and robust infrastructure vision and urged Congress to act sooner rather than later in passing an infrastructure package.