Among multiple 2019 initiatives mentioned during his Tuesday night State of the Union Address, President Donald Trump spoke of his desire to work with Congress to develop bipartisan legislation to “deliver new and important infrastructure investment.” Emphasizing the critical nature of these improvements, the President added, “this is not an option. This is a necessity.”
Conference and Exhibition
June 9-12, 2019
News and Updates
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
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:
Building Regional Communities
February 4, 2019 View full newsletter
CBO Reports Partial Shutdown had Significant Impact on Federal Spending, Economy
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the partial government shutdown delayed $18 billion in federal spending and suspended some federal services. Real gross domestic product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2018 was reduced by $3 billion. In the first quarter of 2019, real GDP is estimated to be $8 billion lower than it would have been. Although most of the real GDP lost during these two quarters will eventually be recovered, CBO estimated that $3 billion will not be, reducing the level of the annual GDP in 2019 by 0.02 percent.
NAACP Challenge To 2020 Census Preparations Moves Forward
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) won a major court ruling last week, giving the organization okay to proceed with a federal lawsuit challenging the administration’s amount of preparations for the 2020 census. The compliant alleges that unless the Census Bureau significantly improves its plans for 2020, the upcoming census will drastically undercount African Americans and people of color across the country. U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm said, “[T]he census must be conducted in a way that will not thwart the goal of equal representation… This ongoing state of uncertainty [makes it more likely that the Census Bureau] will be unprepared (in terms of funding, workforce, and testing) for the 2020 census.”
TJCOG ED Discusses Regionalism and Rural-Urban Divide
Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG) Executive Director Lee Worsley was a guest on the First in Future podcast hosted by the North Carolina State University Institute for Emerging Issues. During the conversation, they discussed how TJCOG works to influence 43 other units of local government and encourages them to work together on regional issues. They also spoke in depth about working with both rural and urban areas, with Lee Worsley saying, “When an urban area wins, it ends up being a victory for the entire state, when a rural area struggles, it is a concern for the whole state.”
January 31, 2019 View full newsletter
House Hearing to Focus on Costs of Delaying Transportation Investments
New House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) has announced the committee’s first hearing of the new Congress, which will focus on the costs that result when infrastructure investments are delayed due to lack of adequate federal funding. Though speakers have not been announced, the hearing will serve as an opportunity for DeFazio and others to discuss the value of an infrastructure package and the need for an increase in the nation’s fuel taxes to funding infrastructure investments.
Nason Has Hearing to be FHWA Director
Nicole Nason, President Trump’s pick to head the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), appeared earlier this week before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Nason, who ran the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under President George W. Bush, stressed the need for stable funding for the Highway Trust Fund, though unsurprisingly stopped short of indicating what solution she favors. This position has been empty since the start of the Trump Administration, but Nason – who has been confirmed twice before by the Senate for other positions – should move quickly.
EasyMile Launches Automated Shuttle in Denver
In a first for Denver and Colorado, EasyMile has launched a new autonomous shuttle to take passengers from a commuter-rail station to the EasyMile offices and nearby offices of Panasonic Corp. as well. The shuttle will operate for four to six months under the current agreement. This demonstration project will raise the profile of automated vehicles as a first-mile, last-mile solution.