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To the ACEC Community,

This morning House Speaker Mike Johnson announced a deal with the White House on government funding, breaking an impasse around policies for the Department of Homeland Security. The Speaker has not yet disclosed the details of the agreement but said in a statement that the deal will allow Congress to finalize appropriations through September, the end of the fiscal year.

There is still a lot of work to do, and not a lot of time in which to do it. Funding is still set to expire this weekend for the Departments of State, Defense, Labor and Health and Human Services and a number of other agencies. The Speaker has said he will give lawmakers 72 hours to review the proposed bill before a vote. The clock is ticking: the Senate will need to act by 11:59 PM on Friday to avoid a partial shutdown at midnight. President Biden has said he will sign the package immediately once it has passed.

Crisis averted, at least for now. But while Washington may hold the reins of authority, it’s often the states where the significant verdicts are passed. It’s always important to look beyond the Beltway and remember the critical role our state organizations play in shaping our collective future. That’s the impetus behind ACEC’s Minuteman Fund: to help our state organizations advocate for engineering interests locally. It’s become an axiom that all politics is local.

But politics is also vocal, and the Minuteman Fund is one way we can amplify the voices within our federation. Last year, the Fund saw at least five major victories in North Carolina (infrastructure funding); California (conflict of interest reform legislation); Oregon (duty to defend and indemnification); Oklahoma (state turnpike authority transportation funding); and Wisconsin (also indemnification and duty to defend).

Just yesterday, the New Jersey Legislature approved a gas tax increase to fund transportation infrastructure. Backed by ACECNJ, this incremental increase will help pay for $2 billion per year in road, bridge, and transit infrastructure. This is a huge win that happened, in part, because of an expeditious Minuteman grant. In sharing the news of yesterday’s victory, ACECNJ President Joe Fiordaliso called it a “case study in Minuteman Fund success.” I couldn’t agree more. Congratulations to the ACECNJ team for getting it done.

None of these wins – in fact, nothing we do – would be possible without our robust political program. Our political program also continues to be a success story.  We’ve already raised in excess of $300,000 in contributions this year, a pace that will set another fundraising record. We have hosted 12 events at our DC Residence, attended by 25 Members of Congress. We’ve hosted MO fly-ins for Nebraska, Connecticut, and Maine (the latter a dinner with Sen. Angus King) so far with 12 more fly-ins scheduled in April, May, June, and September. We also are hosting an event for House GOP Whip Tom Emmer and 31 GOP House members, which will raise an estimated $150,000. On the Democratic side, we are looking to schedule a similar event for Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar in late spring.

Winning political battles – whether in Washington or in the states – is about showing strength in numbers. At half a million members strong, our voice is clear and insistent. Thank you for your continued support.

Have a great week,

Linda Bauer Darr

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March 19, 2024



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