ACEC Government Advocacy
Latest News
Senate Public Works Committee Aims to Approve Transportation Bill before June:
The bipartisan leaders of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works plan to unveil a surface transportation reauthorization bill and move it through the committee in May. Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Ranking Member David Vitter (R-LA) said they have agreed to maintain current funding levels plus inflation. They hope to advance the bill through the Senate this summer. Click Here for entire story.

ACEC Supports Amicus Brief to U.S. Supreme Court for Legal Protection for Federal Contractors:
ACEC is participating in an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a case that narrowed the scope of legal protection afforded to service providers, including engineering firms, when performing work for the federal government. Click Here for entire story.

Hawaii Tops ACEC/PAC Fundraising Threshold for Tenth Straight Year:
ACEC/Hawaii met its ACEC/PAC fundraising goal this week, joining Indiana, South Carolina, and Delaware as the latest Member Organization to raise more than 100 percent of its 2014 ACEC/PAC target. Click Here for entire story.

USDA Approves Use of EJCDC Documents for RUS-Financed Projects:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved the use of three EJCDC C-series (2013) and E-500 (2014) documents on water and waste disposal projects with Rural Utility Service (RUS) financial assistance. Click Here for entire story.

Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) Board of Directors Maintains Momentum:
Click Here for entire story.

States Look to Transfer Roads to Local Control:
Texas, South Carolina, and several other states are trying to turn over control—and repair and maintenance costs—of state roads to local governments. Click Here for entire story.

ACEC Legislative Fact Sheets for Capitol Hill Lobbying Visits During ACEC Convention:
ACEC has produced legislative fact sheets for the three issues that the Council's Citizen Lobbyists will address with their Congressional delegations during the upcoming ACEC Convention in Washington, D.C., April 27-30. Click Here for entire story.

USACE Chief Bostick Underscores Value of ACEC to Corps:
In a meeting this week at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) headquarters in Washington, D.C. with ACEC Chairman Gregs Thomopulos and ACEC President Dave Raymond, USACE Commanding General Thomas Bostick highlighted the Corps' close working relationship with the Council. Click Here for entire story.

Ways and Means Committee to Consider Extending ACEC-Backed R&D Tax Credit, Enhanced Small Business Expensing:
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) said his panel will look to permanently extend several expired tax provisions, including two of particular interest to engineering firms: the R&D tax credit and enhanced business expensing for small firms. Click Here for entire story.

ACEC Concerned over Impact of Administration's Directives on Federal Contractor Compensation Rules:
President Obama has directed the U.S. Department of Labor to propose regulations that would bar federal contractors from retaliating against workers who discuss their pay, and to consider rules that would require federal contractors and subcontractors to submit data on compensation paid to their employees, including gender and racial breakdowns. Click Here for entire story.

Senate Judiciary Committee to Take Up ACEC-Supported Bill to Restrict "Patent Trolls":
The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider bipartisan legislation this week to protect engineering firms and other businesses from so-called patent "trolls." Similar legislation (HR 3309) has already cleared the House of Representatives. Click Here for entire story.

ACEC Opposes Union Elections Rule:
ACEC and a coalition of business allies submitted comments in opposition to a proposed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule that would shorten the time frame for union elections. Click here to read the comment letter. Click Here for entire story.

Minuteman Fund Grant Will Help New Hampshire Fight for Transportation Funding:
ACEC has awarded a Minuteman Fund grant to ACEC/New Hampshire to help defray the cost of an advocacy campaign to pass an increase in the state's gas tax to support transportation funding. Click Here for entire story.

Delaware Meets ACEC/PAC Goal "as Early as Possible in Order to Get Dollars Out to Campaigns Now":
ACEC/Delaware reached its ACEC/PAC goal this week, marking the eighth consecutive year that the state has achieved its PAC objective. ACEC/DE joins ACEC/Indiana and ACEC/South Carolina as the Member Organizations to meet goal for 2014. Click Here for entire story.

House Scheduled to Vote on Ryan Budget Bill:
The House will vote on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-WI) budget proposal on Thursday that would cut spending for transportation and certain energy and environmental programs while boosting oil and gas development and defense. Click here for more information. Click Here for entire story.

Republican Senators Oppose Expansion of EPA Stream and Wetlands Regulatory Reach:
The Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to expand its regulation of the nation's streams and wetlands has drawn fire from 15 Republican senators. Click Here for entire story.

Federal Agencies Offer Prize for Desalination Solutions for Developing Countries:
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have launched the Desal Prize to identify and promote innovation in brackish groundwater desalination. Click Here for entire story.

USDA Promotes Wooden High Rises as Sustainable Alternative:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a $2 million competition to develop wooden high-rise buildings. Click Here for entire story.

House Budget Plan Would Cut Transportation Spending; ACEC Citizen Lobbyists Will Call for Funding Increases:
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-WI) Fiscal Year 2015 budget blueprint, which was unveiled this week, would cut spending for transportation and certain energy and environmental programs while boosting oil and gas development and defense. Click Here for entire story.

Senate Committee to Act on Tax Extenders, Including R&D Tax Credit:
Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) has announced that the committee will consider legislation this week to reinstate a package of tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013, including several used by ACEC Member Firms: the R&D tax credit; parity for employer-provided transit benefits; increased Section 179 expensing limits; and 50 percent bonus depreciation. Click Here for entire story.

ACEC/Oklahoma Supports Congressman James Lankford:
Click Here for entire story.

House to Vote on Changing ACA Full-Time Employee Threshold:
The House of Representatives is expected to approve H.R. 2575 this week, which would increase the threshold for full-time employees in the Affordable Care Act from 30 hours per week to 40 hours per week. Click Here for entire story.

Congressional Panel Takes VA to Task over Major Project Delays, Cost Overruns:
Major Department of Veterans Affairs construction projects are on average 35 months behind schedule and $360 million over budget, according to members of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs' Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Click Here for entire story.

Louisiana 50-Year Coastal Restoration Plan Would Be Boon to State Economy:
If Louisiana were to implement its 50-year, $50 billion plan to restore and protect its coastline, it would generate $12.35 billion in annual spending and $757 million in annual state and local tax revenues, and create 109,360 permanent jobs with $3.61 in annual earnings, according to a study by Restore Lousiana Now. Click Here for entire story.

Innovative Entries in Design Competition for Protecting NYC from Next Super Storm:
Artificial islands and oyster colonies are among the proposals in Rebuild by Design, a competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Design to spur creative solutions for protecting the New York City region from future major storms. Click Here for entire story.

ACEC Opposes Tax Increase on S Corporations:
ACEC is voicing strong opposition to a provision in House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp's tax reform proposal that would raise payroll taxes on S corporation owners. ACEC has successfully fought similar proposals in the Senate in recent years. Click Here for entire story.

Lawmaker Questions Labor Secretary on Overtime Rules Update:
Appearing before the House Education and the Workforce Committee on Wednesday, Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez discussed the agency’s recent mandate from President Obama to update overtime pay regulations. Click Here for entire story.

Five Major Corporations Form Alliance for American Competitiveness to Fight for Infrastructure Funding:
Five leading multi-national corporations have formed the Alliance for American Competitiveness to advocate increased infrastructure investment and passage of a long-term highway funding bill by September 30. Click Here for entire story.

U.S. DOE Authorizes Liquid Natural Gas Exports from Oregon:
The Department of Energy (DOE) has conditionally approved plans to export liquid natural gas (LNG) from the Jordan Cove terminal in Coos Bay, Ore. Click Here for entire story.

More Than 30 State Chambers of Commerce Urge Congress to Pass Long-Term Transportation Funding Program:
Leaders from 31 state Chambers of Commerce have co-signed a letter urging Congress to "strengthen our nation's infrastructure and provide our economy with the support it needs to remain a global leader." Click Here for entire story.

Obama Administration Unveils Online Climate Change Data Hub:
The federal government has introduced an online site to give local communities detailed data on how climate change may affect their critical infrastructure. Click Here for entire story.



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