Rocky Mountain ATSSA Chapter members gathered in Glenwood Springs, CO on May 10 & 11, 2018. On Thursday, May 10, the Chapter held a quarterly board meeting and later a member social at the Glenwood Canyon Brewpub where members relaxed and networked with other industry colleagues throughout the state. ATSSA represents the road safety, traffic safety, and highway safety industry with effective legislative advocacy, traffic control safety training, and a far-reaching member partnership.
The Chapter meeting followed on Friday, May 11, at the Glenwood Springs Library. Ted Ott, Chapter President and Colorado Barricade President & CEO, provided a chapter update and reported that a task force has been formed to address the issue of hours needed to become certified as a traffic control supervisor (TCS). This work group will develop a new proposal for consideration by the Colorado Department of Transportation. The Chapter would ultimately like to develop a better path to encourage work force development that makes sense for Colorado.
Following the Board update, guest speaker, Nathan Smith, ATSSA’s Vice President of Government Relations, provided a comprehensive national legislative update pertaining to future funding for roadway safety infrastructure. Smith reviewed the $1.5 trillion+ Trump Infrastructure Package. “While it is doubtful that an infrastructure plan will be passed in 2018, there is a better chance something will happen in 2019 as it might be seen by legislators as ‘good to run on’ for 2020 elections.”
The next Chapter meeting will be held in conjunction with a fundraising golf tournament on Monday, August 13 at Spring Valley Golf Club, Elizabeth, CO.
Trump Infrastructure Package
- $1.5 trillion+ over 10 years → leveraging $200 billion in direct federal spending
- $100 billion = incentives to state and local governments to provide nonfederal revenue for projects (local public money, private money, etc.)
- $50 billion = formula block grants to state for rural infrastructure projects
- $20 billion = infrastructure financing and credit assistance
- $10 billion = resolving fund to manager federal real estate purchases
Infrastructure Incentives Program
- Half of total direct federal investments; funded at $100 billion over 10 years
- Incentivize state and local governments to raise money from non-federal sources (both public and private)
- 20/80 “split”
- Some concerns among local governmental entities about this proposal
Rural Infrastructure Program
- Funded at $50 billion over the 10 – year period
- Formula driven allocation – but not just for surface transportation
- Prioritize projects that are essential for efficiency and safety
- Tribal and territorial lands would be included in this section
- This program recognizes that P3s and private money are difficult to attract in rural communities
- Transformative Projects would be funded at $20 billion over 10 years
- Focused on bold, innovative, transformative infrastructure projects – “high risk, high reward”
- Some of the goals would include significantly improving performance for safety, reliability, etc.
- Department of Commerce would be the lead agency on rolling out this program
Infrastructure Financing Programs
- Funded at $20 billion
- Increase capacity for TIFIA, WIFIA, RRIF Programs plus expands PABs
- $14 billion for TIFIA, WIFIA, RRIF – – Programs plus expands PABs
- $6 billion for PABs
Public Lands Infrastructure
- This provision in the proposal would allow funds generated from energy development on public lands to pay for capital and maintenance projects
- It would also create an interior Maintenance Fund for infrastructure projects
- The proposal expands Pell Grant eligibility to short term education programs → leading to credential or certification programs
- Reforms Perkins career and technical education program
Movement on Infrastructure Funding
- US Chamber of Commerce
- 25 cent gas tax increase over 5 years
- Chairman Shuster and President Trump support
- Shuster looking at 15 cent gas tax increase
- House T&I and Senate EPW Committees holding hearing on proposal and funding options
- Nearly $2 billion extra funding in FY18 omnibus for surface transportation programs
- Working on FY19 appropriations, with 10% for safety
- Reps. Barletta & Lipinski leading safety letter this week – Take action today!
Timing is Key
- 36 legislative days left in House until August recess
- Memorial Day will be a key indicator
- 8 legislative days until Memorial Day
- What happens if infrastructure slides into 2019?
- Good to run on for 2020 reelection
- Does 2019 infrastructure package = FAST Act extensions?