Democrats Object as Transit Grants Get the Gateway Treatment

FTA sent a letter last week to Capital Investment Grant applicants advising them on the importance of local financial commitments. This is the same approach that the agency has taken to the Gateway Project, which would build new bridge and tunnel crossings between New York and New Jersey. The interpretation specifically means that federal loans…

Harvard Releases State of the Nation’s Housing Report

The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies recently released its 3oth annual housing report, The State of the Nation’s Housing 2018. Managing Director Chris Hebert said, “By many metrics, the U.S. housing market in 2018 is on sound footing. But a number of challenges highlighted in the first State of the Nation’s Housing report 30…

Route Fifty Navigator Awards Nominations

Know an individual or team that deserves recognition for working in or with state, county, or municipal government? Apply for Route Fifty’s third annual Navigator Awards. Awards are given in five categories that recognize those that successfully implement a great idea that improves public sector services and the communities they serve. Nominations will be reviewed by three measurements:…

House Approves Farm Bill Legislation

In a narrow vote of 213-211, the House passed its version of the Farm Bill (H.R. 2), which is estimated to spend $860 billion over the next 10 years. While Democrats unanimously opposed the bill due to stricter eligibility criteria and work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), eight conservative Freedom Caucus members…

House Appropriations Committee to Adopt Labor, Health, Education Funding Bill

Tomorrow, June 26, the House Appropriations Committee is expected to approve the FY 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education funding bill. The bill is likely to be adopted along party lines with essentially the same funding that Congress appropriated last year, which is greater than the amount requested by the administration. The bill,…

HUD Designates Western Piedmont COG, Regional Housing Authority as 1 of 17 EnVision Centers

Earlier this month, the Western Piedmont Council of Government’s (WPCOG) Regional Housing Authority was announced as one of the first seventeen EnVision Center designations around the nation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). According to HUD, these centers will “offer HUD-assisted families access to support services that can help them achieve…

House Passes Walden-Led Package to Combat Opioid Crisis

In a bipartisan vote of 396-14, the House passed the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6) – a piece of legislation that combines dozens of opioid-related bills passed over the last two weeks with base text and provisions that passed through the House Energy…

State and Local Governments Win Landmark Online Sales Tax Case

On Thursday in the South Dakota v. Wayfair case, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that state and local governments can collect sales tax from vendors that do not have a physical presence in their state. In the 5-4 decision, SCOTUS offered three reasons why it ruled on the side of the…

Seattle, Baltimore Take on the Housing Affordability Crisis

According to Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies Managing Director Chris Herbert, just under half of all renters nationwide in 2018 are “cost burdened,” or pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Robert Pinnegar, president and CEO of National Apartment Association, recommends that mayors “prioritize development of apartment housing, plan for diversity…

NARC Elects 2018-2019 Leadership

Washington, DC (June 8, 2018): The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) recently elected leaders for 2018-2019 and celebrated its 52nd Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida. For over 50 years, NARC has advocated on behalf of regional councils and the benefits regionalism provides for local governments. NARC members work collaboratively in their diverse…

NARC Presents 2018 Regional Leadership and Excellence Awards

Washington, D.C. (June 6, 2018) – The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) presented the 2018 General Achievement and Leadership Awards at its 52nd Annual Conference and Exhibition Gala Dinner in Orlando last night. “We are excited to celebrate the achievements and leadership of our members and nominees this year,” said NARC President ­Bob Dallari, Commissioner…

AASHTO’s Executive Director Announces Retirement

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) Executive Director Frederick G. “Bud” Wright announced last week that he plans to retire at the end of 2018. Wright was appointed Executive Director in November 2012 and previously served as executive director for the Federal Highway Administration from 2001 to 2008. He also led AASHTO…

It’s Infrastructure Week!

This week, hundreds of elected, nonprofit, business, and community leaders will host events to advocate one message: “Americans are waiting. The future won’t. It’s #TimeToBuild.” Every day of Infrastructure Week, local, state, and national stakeholders will highlight the projects, technologies, and policies that are necessary to improve our country’s infrastructure. To participate in this week-long…

AACOG to Host CarFit Event

This week, Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) will co-host a CarFit event with many stakeholders in their region. CarFit is a free, interactive, and educational program that uses trained volunteers to assess the safest “fit” for older drivers and their vehicles. Simple improvements that help improve driver safety and community mobility include educating the…

National Dialogue on Highway Automation

FHWA launched a National Dialogue on Highway Automation. The program includes five upcoming workshops hosted around the country concerning different areas of highway autonomation. FHWA plans to include a broader range of stakeholders to inform FHWA’s role in automation and national research, policy, and programs to aid in the development of the technology. The Launch…

FEMA’s National Level Exercise 2018

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has begun its National Level Exercise (NLE) 2018, an event that brings together more than 250 federal, state, local, tribal and territorial governments, private industry, and nonprofit organizations to test their emergency response to a simulated major disaster. Through May 11, these organizations are coordinating together and using established…

EPA Seeks Nominees for Advisory Council

On Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in the Federal Register seeking nominations to fill vacancies on EPA’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC). EPA requests nominations of qualified candidates to be considered for a three-year appointment. The 15-member NDWAC was established by the Safe Drinking Water Act to provide practical and independent advice, consultation,…

MVRPC Launches New Safety Campaign

The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) launched a new safety campaign focusing on seat belt use, proper child safety-seat use, and safe cycling guidelines. This new effort is in response to recent, staggering statistics that show that only 83% of Ohio motorists wear a seat belt – the lowest rate in five years. MVRPC…

Energy Secretary Perry Announces Funding for Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research

Energy Secretary Rick Perry recently announced $68.5 million in funding through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for early-stage research of advanced vehicle technologies. Projects selected through this Vehicle Technologies Office funding opportunity will address one of five topics, including batteries and electrification, technology integration, and co-optimization of engines…

MAPA Wins Three APA Awards

The Nebraska Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) recognized the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) with awards for two projects in addition to the APA Planning Agency Award for its overall work. The Omaha Metropolitan Area Online Bicycle Map won the Transportation Plan Award. The interactive map helps the community find routes…

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