Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America

Washington, D.C. (February 12, 2018): The White House today released its long-anticipated “infrastructure package” that contains funding for a wide array of infrastructure projects with significant reliance on contributions from state, local, and private sources to achieve its overall investment goals. The outline proposes a total federal funding level of $200 billion. By requiring significant…

Press Release: NARC Responds To Trump’s Infrastructure Proposal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NARC Contact: Anna Rosenbaum / anna@narc.org Transportation Contact: Erich Zimmermann / erich@narc.org NARC Responds To Trump’s Infrastructure Proposal Washington, D.C. (February 12, 2018) – With today’s release of the Trump administration’s Infrastructure Plan, the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) appreciates the national conversation regarding the important role the federal government plays…

What the White House Infrastructure Proposal May Contain

A document was leaked yesterday that contains an outline of what might be contained in a long-promised White House infrastructure proposal. Heavy caveats are required, as we do not know who prepared this document, who leaked it, or whether it reflects the administration’s thinking. When asked about the document, a White House spokesperson declined to…

Freight Movement: Assessing Where We Are Now and Where We Need to Go

Yesterday Mark Policinski, CEO of the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana (OKI) Regional Council of Governments, testified in front of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Policinski represented OKI and the Coalition of America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors, which consists of over 60 public and private organizations committed to increasing federal investment…

Tax Bill Heads to President’s Desk

A tax reform bill is headed to the president’s desk, but will not receive his signature until early January to avoid mandatory spending cuts from the PAYGO law. Waiting until January pushes the spending cuts that the bill triggers to 2019, including a $25 billion cut to Medicare among other federal programs. While some transportation-related…

MVRPC Receives “SAFETYS” Award from Ohio DOT

The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) recently accepted a “SAFETYS” award and $3,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation (DOT) for their “Street Smart” pedestrian safety campaign. Launched in 2016, “Street Smart” has presented posters, digital billboard ads, newspaper ads, bus exterior ads, social media posts, and a webpage with safety tips for…

Mayors Get Involved in FCC Net Neutrality Vote Debate

Approximately sixty mayors signed a letter opposing the repeal of net neutrality regulations in anticipation of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote on Thursday. They fear that the repeal could lead to digital inequality, putting low-income users at risk of getting left behind because they cannot afford the premium Internet speed and availability packages. The…

House Jumps into National Monuments Fight

Last Monday, the president signed two proclamations to scale back two large national monuments in Utah – the 1.4-million-acre Bear Ears National Monument to 220,000 acres and the 1.9 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to 1 million acres. While the Trump administration maintained that the reduction in land would allow ranchers to be stewards of…

Coalition Calls for Preservation of PABs

NARC joined many national organizations – including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, and National Association of Counties – on a letter calling for the preservation of PABs and advance refunding bonds in the final tax bill. PABs and advance refunding bonds provide efficient & low-cost financing for critical investments in infrastructure projects…

Nation’s Mayors, Cities, Counties and Regions Applaud Passage of the Brownfields Enhancement Economic Development & Reauthorization Act

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities, and National Association of Counties today released the following statement applauding passage of the Brownfields Enhancement Economic Development and Reauthorization Act of 2017 (H.R. 3017): “We commend members of the U.S. House of Representatives for passing this important legislation…

Tax Reform Update

As Congress heads towards the end of President Trump’s first year in office, the House begins acting on the promised tax reform legislation. The House push to adopt tax reform legislation will continue for the next several weeks with committee hearings, debate, and ultimately a vote. Supporters of the legislation who claimed that it would simplify…

Flood Insurance Agreement Compromise

On Friday, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) announced they have negotiated an agreement for a long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, “being from Louisiana and Texas, we are all-too familiar with the devastating effects of floods and the havoc they wreak on communities.…

CHIP Extended Five Years

On Friday, the House passed a bill to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years, which ran out of funding at the end of September and forced some states to cut benefits for low-income children that did not qualify for Medicaid coverage. Most Democrats voted against the bill because of the way…

Today is National Weatherization Day!

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is celebrating National Weatherization Day by highlighting their Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). For 40 years, WAP has been helping low-income households, seniors, and those with disabilities save on energy costs. For those that need weatherization assistance, the office highlighted three easy steps: 1)…

Trump Declares Opioid Epidemic a National Public Emergency

Last Thursday, the administration officially declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency. Trump directed Health and Human Services Acting Secretary Eric Hargan to declare the emergency under the Public Health Services Act. This action will make federal agencies provide more funding from their current budgets. This declaration does not allow the federal government…

Mapping the Hard-to-Count Populations in the 2020 Census

The mapping team at the Center for Urban Research of the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center has developed an interactive map of hard-to-count districts for the 2020 Census. Search by congressional district or state legislative district to display hard-to-count neighborhoods and other details. Here are some of their suggestions for using the…

Help Save the Transit Benefit

Last week, the White House and House and Senate Republican leadership unveiled a tax reform framework. As a part of tax reform, Congress is considering eliminating the transportation fringe benefit. This benefit provides commuters with tax-free employer provided parking and transit. Eliminating this benefit would impact almost all commuting Americans. Additionally, eliminating this benefit would…

Senate AV START Act

The Senate autonomous vehicles bill was approved by voice vote out of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee yesterday. An amendment to include vehicles heavier than 10,000 pounds was withdrawn, but Chairman John Thune (R-SD) has indicated this could still be added later by the full Senate. The National League of Cities, National Association of…

Cutting the Red Tape; USDOT Federal Register Notice

On Monday, NARC attended an event with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to discuss regulatory reform and a federal register notice for comments on existing rules and other agency actions that are good candidates for repeal, replacement, suspension, or modification. The presentation included information on USDOT’s vision and background motivation for regulatory reform, and a question…

Video: Dennis Smith on the History of MAG and Its Founder

Jack Debolske, the former head of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns and the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), passed away this month. Behind the scenes, Debolske helped shape the development of the Phoenix area, probably more than any other single figure. Listen to MAG Executive Director Dennis Smith tell us more about the…

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