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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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Trump Pitches P3s to Get Country out of Infrastructure Bind

In the weeks leading up to the election, Donald Trump released a 10-year, $1 trillion, so-called revenue neutral plan to rebuild highways, tunnels, bridges, airports, water, utilities, and other infrastructure.  The plan relies heavily on public-private partnerships (P3s), which he claims would spur private investment and provide plenty of revenue to rebuild America’s aging infrastructure.  The plan does not identify new revenue for the struggling Highway Trust Fund and conveniently ignores the multitude of P3 bankruptcies and failures around the country.

Under the plan, Congress would authorize tax credits for construction companies to build infrastructure projects that generate a revenue stream.  Those tax credits would then be leveraged by the private sector and used to finance up to $1 trillion dollars in total spending.  In theory, the increased construction spending would create jobs and new tax revenue – from both wages and corporate profits – offsetting the cost of the tax credits.

Infrastructure advocates have praised Trump for his recognition of the fact that the country’s infrastructure is badly in need of a financial boost.  Conservative groups such as Heritage Action for America, which routinely advocates for shifting the responsibility for funding transportation from the federal government to individual states, criticized the plan as a “big government endeavor” that would not spur economic growth.

Democratic lawmakers have been quick to praise the plan as something they could work on with the new administration and find common ground – clinging to the historically bipartisan nature of infrastructure and, perhaps, the fact that an infrastructure plan is more palatable to them than some of Trump’s other top priorities.

NASHTU looks forward to working with Congress and other stakeholders to ensure that any infrastructure plan that features P3s include language that protects the public interest by ensuring that transportation projects are delivered safely and cost-effectively.  NASHTU will also be watchful for any provisions that would mandate, incentivize or encourage the outsourcing of public sector jobs.

Read more:

Politico Article: Conservatives vs. Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

Washington Post Wonkblog: Donald Trump Believes the U.S. can get $1 Trillion in New Roads – For Free

Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

Donald Trump’s 100-Day Action Plan

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

Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan wouldn’t actually fix America’s infrastructure problems – Donald Trump loves the idea of infrastructure. He brings it up all the time. He wants to make an infrastructure bill a priority in his first 100 days as president. And Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have said they’d love to work with him on this. – Brad Palmer for Vox – November 17, 2016

Sustainable infrastructure after the Automobile Age – The Breakthrough American infrastructure of the early 19th century was the Erie Canal, which connected the Midwest farm belt with the Port of New York and the eastern seaboard. In the second half of the 19th century, the railroad offered the next infrastructure revolution by connecting the two oceans and the continent in between. In the middle of the last century, the transformational infrastructure was the Interstate Highway System, consummating America’s 20th-century love affair with the automobile. Each new wave of infrastructure underpinned a half-century of economic growth. – Jeffrey D. Sachs for The Boston Globe – September 26, 2016

Illinois Safe Roads Amendment will end raids on transportation budget – Illinoi voters can reform state government in a limited yet very important way when they cast their ballots by approving the Safe Roads Amendment. – Herald-Whig View – September 25, 2016