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The National Association of State Highway and Transportation Unions (NASHTU) is dedicated to ensuring that federal transportation dollars are spent on cost-effective, safe projects that serve the public interest. NASHTU is comprised of 38 unions and associations representing hundreds of thousands of state and locally employed transportation engineers, construction managers and inspectors, technical workers and related public servants from throughout the United States.

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Registration for 2017 NASHTU Conference Now Open!

Online registration is now available for the 2017 NASHTU Conference – scheduled for April 24 through 26, 2017 – at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington D.C.

The NASHTU Conference provides an important opportunity for transportation unions to come together and strategize how to best serve our members and deliver safe, cost-effective transportation projects for taxpayers.

NASHTU is planning an impressive agenda this year including addresses by Members of Congress, U.S. DOT officials, good government advocacy groups, labor leaders, transportation industry experts, and many others.  If you have ideas for interesting speakers or panels for the 2017 NASHTU conference, please let us know at nashtu@nashtu.us.

To register for the 18th Annual NASHTU Conference, please visit our conference webpage.  Conference registration is $270 per person.  NASHTU has secured a special room rate at the Washington Court Hotel of $349/night.  To take advantage of the special pricing, please call the hotel at 202/628-2100 and reference the NASHTU conference when booking.

If you missed the 2016 NASHTU Conference, you can check out the conference agenda, photos and proceedings here.


Senate, House Leaders Call for Direct Funding of Infrastructure

Key Senate and House leaders are resisting the Administration’s idea that public-private partnerships (P3s) alone can solve the nation’s infrastructure funding challenges.

Senator John Barasso (R-WY), Chair of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, said at last week’s committee hearing that infrastructure “funding solutions that involve P3s, as have been discussed by administration officials, may be innovative solutions for crumbling inner cities, but do not work for rural areas…”  Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), the ranking Democrat on EPW also criticized the Administration’s P3 proposal at the hearing, saying “financing will not solve all infrastructure needs, regardless of whether you are a rural or urban state.”

On the House side, Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) also raised doubts about P3s, saying “states can’t do it without the federal government coming to the table with a piece of the funding solution.”

What form could such a funding solution take?  Well, Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) recently unveiled the Build USA Infrastructure Act, which would require, starting in 2020, the first $21.4 billion in revenues collected each fiscal year by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to be deposited in the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).  The additional money would cover shortfalls between HTF receipts and projected spending through approximately 2025.  Fischer touts her plan as a “user fee” solution, since it utilizes the receipts from customs charges levied on freight and passengers at air, land, and water ports of entry.

House T&I Ranking Democrat Peter DeFazio (D-OR) is also proposing a funding solution to shore up the Highway Trust Fund.  DeFazio’s plan would index the federal gas tax to construction cost inflation and use the additional revenue to back 30-year infrastructure bonds.  He says indexing the existing federal gas tax would allow the issuance of $500 billion in bonds for highway, bridge and transit improvements, and would increase current HTF revenue by $23 billion per year.

Read more in the AASHTO Journal:

Key Senate, House Lawmakers Say Private Project Financing Not Enough for Many Areas

Sen. Fischer, Rep. DeFazio Propose Separate Revenue Plans to Bolster Highway Trust Fund

2017 NASHTU Conference – New Venue, Earlier Date

NASHTU’s Annual Conference will move to a new venue in 2017 – the Washington Court Hotel in Washington D.C.  It is just down the street from the Hyatt (which could not accommodate us in 2017) and is a first-rate hotel.  The conference will be held Monday, April 24 through Wednesday, April 26, 2017.

At the 2017 conference, we will continue to advocate NASHTU’s priorities:

  • Require state and local departments of transportation to perform cost-benefit analyses prior to outsourcing
  • Ensure public safety by requiring public employees to perform the construction inspection on federally funded transportation projects
  • Oppose efforts that seek to mandate or incentivize the use of outsourcing on transportation projects

The NASHTU conference will also feature key Members of Congress and transportation policy experts.  In addition, we will have many informative panels on outsourcing schemes and issues affecting public sector labor unions.

NASHTU has secured a special room rate of $349 per night for the conference.  The hotel has also agreed to honor the group rate for the Saturday prior to our conference and Wednesday, April 26, based on hotel availability.  If you are planning to stay those nights, please make your reservations as soon as possible.  To make reservations, please call the Washington Court Reservations Department at 1 (800) 321-3010.

If you have any suggestions for speakers, panel topics, or interesting subjects for the conference, please let us know.

HR 1692: Ensuring Safety, Efficiency and Accountability on Transportation Projects

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), has introduced legislation that requires public employees to perform the construction inspection on federally funded state and local transportation projects.  NASHTU has advocated for public inspection on transportation projects for many years.

The Safety, Efficiency, and Accountability in Transportation Projects through Public Inspection Act of 2015 (HR 1692) will ensure that public safety is protected, transportation funds are not wasted, and that projects are delivered in a timely manner.

On transportation projects, construction inspectors are the eyes, ears, and voice of the public.  Public inspectors ensure that construction standards are met, that projects meet safety requirements, and that the materials used will stand the test of time.

Please help generate support for this bill by personalizing and sending a co-sponsorship request letter to the members of your state’s congressional delegation.

To ensure the timely receipt of the letter, we would suggest that you e-mail the letter, fact sheet and disaster examples to the Legislative Directors of the Members of Congress.

News Stories

Sen. Deb Fischer has a plan to fast-track infrastructure funding – Legislation mixing infrastructure funding with reform to the regulatory processes needed to approve massive highway projects could be part of the solution to the nation’s road improvement needs. – Kyle Feldscher for the Washington Examiner

GOP Senator floats new highway funding bill – A rural Republican senator is floating a new idea to pay for federal highway aid and boost other transportation projects around the country. – Melanie Zanona for The Hill – February 2, 2017

House begins quest for funding for Trump’s infrastructure plan, but is it ‘same rhetoric’ as always? – The House hearing intended to raise the curtain on President Trump’s call for infrastructure investment was into its third hour Wednesday when the time came for Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) to speak up. “We’re having the same conversation,” she said. “I keep hearing the same rhetoric without action.” – Ashley Halsey III for The Washington Post – February 1, 2017