CONNstruction - Spring 2009 - (Page 7)

newsandviews The Proving Year This is the year that will determine the state of our industry for the next decade. To ensure our success, we have to make transportation funding a national priority. We are off to a good start. Congress has acknowledged the U.S. economy would benefit from enactment of significant job creation and economic recovery legislation that includes investments in infrastructure. The leadership of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works made this clear in a letter to their counterparts of the Appropriations Committee in January. They wrote that transportation infrastructure is one of the best forms of stimulus spending that the government has at its disposal. They recognized that the economic benefits from transportation investment include both the immediate job creation and the residual long By Donald Shubert CCIA President CRBA Executive Secretary CRMCA Executive Director CAAPA Executive Secretary term economic benefits associated with the completed project. However, big challenges to maintain a stable program lay ahead. While Congress was drafting the economic stimulus legislation, ARTBA President & CEO Pete Ruane reminded everyone that the package must be followed up later this year with a robust, multi-year authorization of the federal surface transportation program, SAFETEA-LU, which is aimed at increasing the nation’s economic competitiveness through strategic, long-term capital investments. Ruane adeptly pointed out that without these long-term investments, the American jobs that will be saved and created under the stimulus legislation will again be in jeopardy due to the precarious position of the federal Highway Trust Fund going into 2009 and beyond. The Highway Trust fund is in trouble because the nation’s highway and transit programs are dependent for revenue on user fees that have not been able to meet our needs. Because the federal gas tax has not been raised since 1993, program revenues are now grossly inadequate to meet the nation’s pressing transportation needs. This is because there has been a lack of political will to increase the gas tax or implement other means to fully fund the HTF. Time is running out to secure long-term, stable funding. The current multi-year surface transportation legislation, which included modest funding increases virtually negated by construction price inflation in recent years, expires on September 30, and there are at least two hand-grenades set to go off at the end of the bill. • Beyond this current fiscal year, the current flow of fuel taxes and other revenue into the federal Highway Trust Fund will not come close to supporting the current federal highway investment levels, much less the funding increases we desperately need. This “grenade” nearly exploded last fall, but Congress delayed it by transferring $8 billion into the Highway Trust Fund as a temporary fix. • In order to maintain the funding levels in the current bill, Congress has already spent down the balance that accumulated in the Highway Trust Fund that would have been carried over on October 1, 2009. Now, with zero funds to carry over to support the artificially-inflated funding levels, the existing revenue stream can only support a fraction of the spending. This means a cut of approximately one-half of the existing funding for projects next year unless Congress comes up with significant new revenues. (See chart at left.) CONNstruction / Spring 2009 / 7

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CONNstruction - Spring 2009

CONNstruction - Spring 2009
The Proving Year
AGC’s Building Division – Where the Value Shines Through
A List Worth Checking
In Defense of “Special Interests”
The Vexatious Litigant
Your Industry Association Membership - Now More Than Ever
Executive Summary
CCIA’s Executive Committee and Officers for 2009
CCIA Board of Directors 2009
Association Activities
Education and Training
Legislative-Lobbying and Government Relations
Labor Relations
CCIA Division Officers
CCIA Staff
Plenty of Parking
Building a Foundation
Connecticut Roadbuilders Fall Meeting
UCAC Annual Scholarship Auction
2008 CCIA’s Annual Membership Meeting and Reception
Diggers/Mixers/Fixers Golf Outing
AGC/CT Industry Recognition Awards Dinner
Index to Advertisers

CONNstruction - Spring 2009