Engineering Inc. - March/April 2008 - (Page 8)

lEGISlaTIVE aCTION FROM aCEC’S GOVERNMENT aFFaIRS DEpaRTMENT Bush Budget slashes Infrastructure Programs; acec acts to restore funds stimulus Package Includes Beneficial tax Provisions President Bush in February signed a $151.7 billion stimulus package that includes provisions to encourage more investment by engineering firms and other businesses. H.R. 5140, the Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act, includes a 50 percent bonus depreciation provision that will allow firms to quickly recover half the cost of certain equipment put into service in 2008. The bill also provides a temporary increase—from $128,000 to $250,000—in the limit on the amount of equipment that small businesses can write off in the year that equipment goes into service. The stimulus package gives individuals earning less than $75,000 a year a $600 tax rebate; married couples earning less than $150,000 receive a $1,200 rebate. ACEC worked with coalition partners during Senate debates to add $5 billion in infrastructure investment to the bill. In a letter to senators, ACEC President Dave Raymond stressed the importance of infrastructure investment in stimulating short- and longterm economic growth: “This investment will create well-paying jobs—every $1 billion worth of federal transportation investment creates 47,500 jobs—and boost the economy very quickly.” Raymond added that the benefits “will be felt over the long term as well, as the resulting infrastructure improvements will help to sustain economic growth for years to come.” Under a bipartisan agreement to move the package forward, the Senate opted not to vote on an infrastructure amendment. House and Senate leaders are discussing the possibility of a second stimulus package that includes an infrastructure component. Bush’s fY2009 Budget cuts Key Infrastructure Programs Funding for transportation, water and other infrastructure faces severe cuts if President Bush’s proposed $3.1 trillion 2009 budget is enacted. “At a time when the economy desperately needs a jump start, this budget proposal simply doesn’t cut it,” said ACEC President Dave Raymond. “We have our work cut out for us in persuading Congress to reorder our budget priorities to address our nation’s infrastructure.” The budget for the U.S. Department of Transportation would be reduced by 10 percent. Proposed highway funding would be reduced by nearly $2 billion in 2009 to $39.4 billion from the $41.2 billion it received in 2008. Transit funding would increase slightly from $9.5 billion in 2008 to $10.1 billion in 2009. The 8 ENGINEERING INC. MaRCh / apRIl 2008 administration also proposes that $3.2 billion be moved from the transit account in FY2009 to cover the shortfall in the highway account. Airport projects under the Airport Improvement Program would be slashed to $2.6 billion—a reduction of $765 million from the 2008 funding level. The news is mixed for water infrastructure programs. The Clean Water Act State RevolvPresident George W. Bush ing Fund (SRF) program would be cut significantly from $689 million in 2008 to $555 million in 2009. Drinking-water projects would receive a slight increase from $829 million this year to $842 million in 2009, while funding for Superfund cleanup projects would remain stable at $1.26 billion. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Program, which funds flood control and other Corps water projects, would be cut to $4.7 billion in 2009 from $5.6 billion in 2008. On the positive side, military construction spending would increase significantly in 2009, growing from $17.8 billion in 2008 to more than $21 billion in 2009. The U.S. State Department’s construction budget would increase $1.8 billion to accommodate the construction of nine new embassies. The energy sector would benefit as well. Bush’s proposal includes additional funding to encourage the development of advanced nuclear power plants and clean coal technologies. acec opposes World Bank Procurement Plan for Borrowing nations ACEC and industry partners have expressed concerns with World Bank procurement officials over a pilot program that ISSuES ON ThE MOVE president’s 2009 Budget loan Forgiveness for Engineers Senate Water Bill WhaT’S NExT house, Senate to pass budget resolution in March house/Senate conference to be completed in the spring Committee consideration in March; floor passage anticipated in april

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Engineering Inc. - March/April 2008

Engineering Inc. - March/April 2008
Table of Contents
From ACEC to You
News & Notes
Market Watch
Legislative Action
Election Preview
Bottom-Line Strategies
From the Ground UP
2008 Annual Convention Primer
Across the Federation
Business Insights
2007 ACEC/PAC Honor Roll
Membrs in the News

Engineering Inc. - March/April 2008