industry alert
April 30, 2014

Architecture & Engineering Industry Alert: U.S. Transportation Secretary Sends GROW AMERICA Act to Congress

David E. Shaffer, Director, Audit & Accounting

We recently received the following press release about proposed transportation legislation from the Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association. If passed, we believe the legislation could significantly benefit Pennsylvania and the industries that support our infrastructure. We recommend that you consider contacting your congressional representative and encourage them to support this bill.

 

GROW AMERICA Act would create jobs, provide certainty for country’s future growth

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has unveiled a long-term transportation bill and has sent it to Congress for consideration, as the House and Senate face looming deadlines to avoid the economic uncertainty and job loss that would ensue if the Highway Trust Fund runs out of money this summer.

The GROW AMERICA Act reflects President Obama’s vision for a four-year surface transportation reauthorization bill that would create millions of jobs and lay the foundation for long-term competitiveness, rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges while providing much-needed certainty for local and state governments and addressing the country’s future needs.

“I applaud Secretary Foxx for his leadership in unveiling Grow America Act. GVF advocated to ensure Pennsylvania passed a comprehensive transportation bill and I want us to accomplish a long-term transportation bill at the Federal level as well. We look forward to engaging our Public Policy Committee to provide guidance and input as we monitor this to see how it will impact our over 130 partners and the region. As the leading advocate for promoting TDM practices that help to improve our infrastructure, a long-term transportation bill is critical at the federal level, “said Rob Henry, GVF Executive Director.

In a statement released yesterday, Secretary Foxx said, “I visited eight states and 13 cities as part of my Invest in America, Commit to the Future bus tour this month and everywhere I went, I heard the same thing – people want more transportation options and better roads and bridges to get them where they need to go. Failing to act before the Highway Trust Fund runs out is unacceptable – and unaffordable.”

On February 26, Secretary Foxx joined President Obama to announce a plan to address the nation’s infrastructure deficit with a $302 billion, four-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal. As outlined in the FY2015 budget, the plan will invest in our national infrastructure network, increase safety and efficiency, and provide greater access to ladders of opportunity, all without adding to the deficit, by relying on the President’s proposed pro-growth business tax reforms.

The GROW AMERICA Act is based on this plan, and represents a number of proposals that have historically attracted bipartisan support including:

  • Addressing the shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund and providing an additional $87 billion to address the nation’s backlog of deficient bridges and aging transit systems;
  • Creating millions of new jobs to ensure America’s future competitiveness;
  • Increasing safety across all modes of surface transportation, including increasing the civil penalties the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can levy against automakers who fail to act quickly on vehicle recalls;
  • Providing certainty to state and local governments that must engage in long-term planning;
  • Reducing project approval and permitting timelines while delivering better outcomes for communities and the environment;
  • Bolstering efficient and reliable freight networks to support trade and economic growth; and
  • Creating incentives to better align planning and investment decisions to comprehensively address regional economic needs while strengthening local decision-making.

More details on Secretary Foxx’s announcement.

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If you have any questions or comments about these topics, please contact David E. Shaffer, Director, Architectural & Engineering Group, at dshaffer@kmco.com or 215-441-4600.

Information contained in this alert should not be construed as the rendering of specific accounting, tax, or other advice. Material may become outdated and anyone using this should research and update to ensure accuracy. In no event will the publisher be liable for any damages, direct, indirect, or consequential, claimed to result from use of the material contained in this alert. Readers are encouraged to consult with their advisors before making any decisions.