Transportation Thursdays

PLEASE NOTE: NARC newsletters will now be uploaded to the website every Friday of the week they were sent out.

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June 25, 2015

CONGRESS BRIEF

EPW Passes DRIVE Act
This week, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee passed out of committee – on a 20-0 vote – a transportation authorization proposal called the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act (S. 1647). The DRIVE Act is a six-year bill with $278 billion in contract authority for fiscal years 2016 to 2021. This is an increase of more than $16 billion over baseline (current) funding as estimated by Congressional Budget Office, and would require the Senate Finance Committee to find some $80 billion to fund just this portion of the surface transportation program. Keep in mind that EPW only covers highways. The Banking Committee is responsible for the transit title, which will further drive up the amount that Finance will be required to find to fund a comprehensive package. NARC has been busy reading the bill to provide you with an analysis. Click HERE for an overview of the provisions of the bill that are most crucial for NARC’s members. And tomorrow, keep an eye on your inbox for our section-by-section analysis that will go into much greater detail.

LaHood Testifies on Highway Funding
Former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood testified in favor of a long-term transportation funding bill at the Senate Committee on Finance hearing entitled, Challenges to the Future of Highway Funding. LaHood, who current serves as co-chair for Building America’s Future, reiterated that lack of investment in infrastructure would seriously impact America’s economic competitiveness. Given that our infrastructure is deteriorating and funding for major projects is already scarce, the same short-term Band-Aid approach to funding infrastructure projects would only exacerbate problems. LaHood warned that these delays could cost the US on a global scale, driving businesses to relocate to countries with more connected, reliable, and safe infrastructure.

ADMINISTRATION BRIEF

Foxx Reintroduces the Ticker
Last week, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx called on Congress to adopt a long-term transportation funding bill that “aggressively boosts investment.” Without an extension, the Highway Trust Fund is projected to run dry by the end of the summer. Foxx reintroduced the “ticker” that provides a monthly snapshot of how close the nation’s transportation is to insolvency. In other news, Foxx applauded the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for its step toward reauthorization with passage of the DRIVE Act this week.

REGIONS BRIEF
Szabo to Lead CMAP
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) Board of Directors unanimously selected Joseph C. Szabo to serve as the agency’s new executive director. Szabo has demonstrated a passion for addressing the planning needs and interests of the region, and brings a breadth of career experience in government at all levels, civic affairs, and transportation, specifically railways. Szabo served as Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration for the past six years and as state legislative director of the United Transportation Union for thirteen years prior. His early career was marked by local involvement as village trustee and mayor of Riverdale, Illinois, and as a member of the regional Council of Mayors Executive Committee.

JOBS
View full list of jobs!

Executive Director
Stanislaus Council of Governments, Modesto, CA

Data Entry Operator
Alamo Area Council of Governments, San Antonio, TX

Regional Services Director
Alamo Area Council of Governments, San Antonio, TX

OPPORTUNITIES
View full list of grants and events!

Safety Seminar: Instructional Accidents
July 11, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM ET
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will host this in-person seminar to present lessons learned from their investigations of pilot training accidents and industry and government research identifying the risks of both solo and dual instructional flights. NTSB Board Member Earl Weener and other NTSB Investigators will reveal the causes of these accidents, recap the current actions taken to prevent them, and provide resources for the general aviation community.

Institutionalizing the Change: How to Make Walking Routine
July 15, 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
In early May, America Walks awarded 25 Walking College Fellowships to local advocates for walking and walkable communities. The Walking College Webinar Series is a component of that fellowship program. This webinar, third in the series, will review public policy and private marketplace strategies to increase walkability, including changes to local government administration, planning and zoning ordinances, and private sector policies.

Eco-Driving to Reduce Emissions from Transit Vehicles
July 16, 10:00 – 11:00 AM ET
This webinar hosted by the National Center for Sustainable Transportation will feature two speakers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and will discuss how eco-driving training and other fuel conservation strategies can help transit agencies reduce vehicle fuel consumption and emissions.

NARC Conference! Becoming Your Best: Professional Development Training for Executive Directors
August 9-11, Austin, TX
Join NARC and the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the 2015 Professional Development Training for Executive Directors conference in Austin, TX. At the first ever Professional Development Training for Executive Directors conference put on by NARC and NADO, you will have the opportunity to network, share best practices, and explore opportunities for strengthening professional capacity and development. You won’t want to miss it!

 

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