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America's GPA: D+
Estimated Investment Needed by 2020:
$3.6 Trillion

President’s Address Includes Infrastructure

March 1st, 2017 | By: Becky Moylan

On Tuesday night, President Trump addressed a joint-session of Congress for the first time in his presidency. Infrastructure was among the many issues he discussed. The President highlighted the interstate highway system as a the “last truly great national infrastructure program,” before calling for a “new program of national rebuilding” and vowing to ask Congress to pass legislation for $1 trillion in infrastructure investment, “financed through both public and private capital.” Infrastructure investment was one of the President’s core campaign promises. While there still needs to be much more shared about the infrastructure legislation described, including what the mix of public and private capital will be and how this investment will be allocated across our nation’s significant infrastructure needs, this is an encouraging step toward fulfilling what the President pledged during the campaign. The speech came just 10 days before ASCE will release its new 2017 Infrastructure Report Card. The report will again provide grades and analysis of 16 categories of infrastructure and offer key solutions and category solutions to raise the grades. One of the core solutions you can expect to read and hear about is the need for investment, and even more specifically government funding. To have lasting progress for our infrastructure, the federal government must commit to not only financing infrastructure programs but funding them. Funding must supplement – rather than replace – long-term solutions, regular appropriations, and scheduled reauthorizations. This tenet is one ASCE also focuses on in its Principles for Infrastructure Investment, released during the Presidential Transition. Americans recognize our infrastructure needs are significant—a new investment gap number will also be released on March 9 in the Report Card. They are also solvable, beginning with federal infrastructure legislation that:
  • Includes investment that provides substantial, long-term benefits to the public and the economy;
  • considers the cost of an infrastructure project over its entire life span;
  • ensures projects are built sustainably and resiliently;
  • does not replace existing federal, state, local, or private infrastructure funding.
Explore the full Principles and mark your calendar for March 9 at 9:30 a.m. ET to watch the Report Card grades reveal live via webstream.

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Water Financing Experts Share Ideas to Improve Local Infrastructure

July 20th, 2016 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

This Tuesday, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hosted a day-long event in Washington, D.C., for representatives from the public and private sectors to discuss emerging finance methods for addressing deficient community water infrastructure. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy opened the day stressing the need to “start thinking about these [water resources projects] as investments, not expenses.” She went on the recognize the success of the EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which has provided over $111 billion to communities since 1987 for water resources projects. Tuesday’s event included a mixture of expert panel presentations and follow-up discussions designed to address water infrastructure financing issues from a variety of federal, state, and local perspectives. The first panel of the day included municipal leaders from Jackson, Mississippi, and Atlanta, Georgia. The panelists emphasized the importance of seeking out new regional community partnerships and emerging public-private partnerships, like Atlanta’s Care and Conserve program, as ways to fund water-related projects. The second panel discussion included leaders from several federal agencies and departments and addressed the critical need for greater integration of federal programs supporting water infrastructure investment in economically disadvantaged communities.  Harriet Tregoning, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), lamented that while a person’s zip code shouldn’t have an impact on their basic quality of life water quality disparity is a tragic example of the social inequity that exists between communities. In ASCE’s 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, the drinking water and wastewater categories both received “D” grades reflecting some of the challenges these leaders are trying to address. This week’s EPA conference shows agencies, departments, and service providers from across the country are trying to make changes, coming together to share the information, and make water infrastructure financing a greater reality for American communities nationwide, but there is still so much more to do. Find out what we can do to raise these grades. Written by James Kirk, ASCE’s Government Relations intern.

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#InfrastructureMatters Hits the Hill

May 18th, 2016 | By: Becky Moylan

The message that #InfrastructureMatters made its way to Capitol Hill today, as American business, labor, citizen groups, and more met with members of Congress and their staffs. Mid-day, the group took a break from Infrastructure Week Advocacy Day meetings to come together at a congressional briefing. Building America’s Future Co-Chair Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) started the day by pointing out the high percentage of state initiatives to improve infrastructure that are approved by voters. The briefing included remarks from all four of Infrastructure Week’s Congressional Co-Chairs: Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Rep. Garett Graves (R-LA), and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY). Each Member of Congress took a few minutes to talk about why #InfrastructureMatters and highlighted the important work Infrastructure Week and its participants are doing. Sen. Cardin talked about the importance of the issue, and shared his personal experience of the commute from Baltimore to D.C. being far longer than it should be—typically over 2 hours, rather than 45 minutes. Sen. Capito talked about a successful grassroots campaign in her state launched by a local radio personality, known as #FTDR—fix the (censored) roads. Rep. Graves trumpeted how preventative investment is more cost effective than emergency repairs, both from a safety and economic standpoint. And Rep. Maloney shared the policy idea of increasing our investment in infrastructure to align with 5% of our nation’s GDP. After Rep. Maloney set the stage well, ASCE’s Casey Dinges presented the new Failure to Act study, highlighting that poor infrastructure is costing every American household for $9 a day, and posing the question (and solution) “Would you be willing to pay $3 a day per family for better infrastructure?,” as we could close the investment gap in 10 years if we invested $3 more a day per family. Members from the business and labor communities, including Liuna, Case, and AECOM, also shared perspectives on the importance on infrastructure investment. A wide variety of interests were represented in the room, but as Infrastructure Week more broadly showcases, all these voices strongly agree on the need to rebuild and renew our infrastructure because it matters to our economy and quality of life.

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Infrastructure Week Events to Check Out

May 12th, 2016 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

There’s a great line up of events happening for Infrastructure Week! See what’s happening near you!

Infrastructure Week Calendar of Events

Saturday, May 14 Event Location Organizer
9:30 am – 12:00 pm WTS-DC: Complete Streets Bike Tour of Arlington, VA Arlington VA Women’s Transportation Seminar – DC Chapter
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Boston Infrastructure Day: Holyoke’s Great Stone Dam and Canals Boston MA Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section
Monday, May 16 Event Location Organizer
8:00 am – 10:45 am Infrastructure Week Kickoff Event Washington D.C. Infrastructure Week Steering Committee
8:00 am – 9:00 am VOW Local Innovators Tour: Sewer Walk: Up Close and Personal Cleveland OH Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
8:00 am – 9:00 am VOW Local Innovators Tour: Virtual Tour of Virginia Initiative Plant Nutrient Reduction Improvement Project Norfolk VA HRSD, Value of Water Coalition
11:00 am – 12:00 pm National League of Cities Press Call and Report Launch: Paying for Infrastructure in a New Era of Federalism Online Webinar National League of Cities
11:00 am – 12:00 pm VOW Local Innovators Tour: Bridge Street Pump Station Groundbreaking Ceremony Hampton VA HRSD, Value of Water Coalition
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Bipartisan Policy Center Executive Council on Infrastructure: Bridging the Gap Together: A New Model to Modernize U.S. Infrastructure Washington D.C. Bipartisan Policy Center
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm ONLINE WEBINAR: Opportunities in Expanding Access to Broadband for Local Leaders Online Webinar National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, National Telecommunications and Information Administration
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Cheaper, Safer Faster: How Disruptive Technologies are Changing How We Build and Operate Infrastructure Washington D.C. Eno Center for Transportation
Tuesday, May 17 Event Location Organizer
8:00 am – 4:00 pm ASCE Infrastructure Day at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Harrisburg PA ASCE PA Section
9:00 am – 3:00 pm I-49 South Day in the Louisiana State Capitol Baton Rouge I-49 South Coalition
9:30 am – 11:30 am How Tampa is Driving the Future of Transportation Tampa FL Building America’s Future, HNTB Companies
11:00 am – 12:00 pm VOW Local Innovators Tour: Press Event: A Public-Private Partnership to Improve Water and Wastewater Services Camden NJ American Water, City of Camden, Value of Water Coalition
11:30 am – 1:30 pm Infrastructure Week 2016 Capitol Hill Roundtable and Luncheon: A Vision for U.S. Infrastructure in the Year 2050 and the Path Forward Washington D.C. Association of Equipment Manufacturers
11:30 am – 2:30 pm VOW Local Innovators Tour: AlexRenew Innovation Tours Alexandria VA Alexandria Renew Enterprises, Value of Water Coalition
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm MEMA Autonomous Vehicle Ride and Drive Washington D.C. Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Optimizing U.S. Infrastructure Investment Policy Options for the 2017 Presidential Transition Washington D.C. National Academy of Public Administration
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm ONLINE WEBINAR: Historical Life Cycle Costs of Steel and Concrete Girder Bridges Online Webinar American Iron and Steel Institute
5:30 pm – 8:30 pm Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure Happy Hour Washington D.C. Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure
Wednesday, May 18 Event Location Organizer
7:40 am – 10:40 pm Women’s Transportation Seminar International – Annual Conference Austin TX Women’s Transportation Seminar International
8:00 am – 4:00 pm U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Supply Chain Summit Washington D.C. U.S. Chamber of Commerce
8:00 am – 5:00 pm International Conference on Sustainable Design, Engineering and Construction Tempe AZ Arizona State University, ASCE Architectural Engineering Institute
8:00 am – 5:00 pm ASCE Engineers Legislative Day in Sacramento, CA Sacramento CA American Society of Civil Engineers
8:45 am – 5:00 pm Infrastructure Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill Washington D.C. Infrastructure Week Steering Committee
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm MEMA Autonomous Vehicle Ride and Drive Washington D.C. Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm #InfrastructureMatters to America’s Economy: Advocacy Day Press Luncheon and ASCE Report Briefing Washington D.C. American Society of Civil Engineers, Infrastructure Week Steering Committee
5:30 pm – 8:00 pm Infrastructure Week Reception Washington D.C. Infrastructure Week Steering Committee, Value of Water Coalition
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Film Screening: Bikes vs. Cars Washington D.C. American Planning Association
Thursday, May 19 Event Location Organizer
8:00 am – 11:45 am Council of State Governments Transportation Policy Roundtable Washington D.C. Council of State Governments
8:00 am – 10:30 am Bloomberg Presents: The Future of Cities Washington D.C. Bloomberg Government, Siemens
8:30 am – 9:30 am VOW Local Innovators Tour: Green Infrastructure Tour Cleveland OH Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Value of Water Coalition
8:30 am – 9:30 am VOW Local Innovators Tour: AlexRenew Innovative Facilities Tour for Elected Officials Alexandria VA AlexRenew
8:35 am – 4:05 pm Resilient Infrastructure in the Age of Climate Change Pittsburgh PA ASCE Pittsburgh Section, Champions for Sustainability, Environmental and Water Resource Institute – Pittsburgh Section, Sustainable Pittsburgh
9:00 am – 12:30 pm How Faster Infrastructure Approvals Can Get America Moving Again Washington D.C. Common Good, Covington and Burling LLP, Progressive Policy Institute
10:30 am – 1:00 pm VOW Local Innovators Tour: AlexRenew Innovation Tours Alexandria VA Alexandria Renew Enterprises, Value of Water Coalition
11:00 am – 12:00 pm The Current State of the Nation’s Aging Public Transportation Infrastructure: Nationwide Press Conference Call PRESS CONFERENCE CALL American Public Transportation Association
1:45 pm – 4:00 pm Delivering the Goods: Recommendations for Funding a Federal Freight Program Washington D.C. Eno Center for Transportation
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Congressional Briefing for State Legislators Washington D.C. Council of State Governments, National Association of Counties
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm Securing Our Water Future: 21st Century Solutions for 21st Century Cities Washington D.C. National League of Cities, Value of Water Coalition
5:30 pm – 9:30 pm ASCE San Diego Outstanding Civil Engineering Awards San Diego CA ASCE San Diego Section
5:30 pm – 8:30 pm Nouveau Corp Infrastructure Happy Hour Washington D.C. Nouveau Corp
Friday, May 20 Event Location Organizer
8:00 am – 12:00 pm Transit Oriented Development Panel and Walking Tour of Capitol Riverfront Washington D.C. Council of State Governments
8:00 am – 2:00 pm A New Focus for Growth around the Commonwealth Boston MA Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section
9:00 am – 12:00 pm Sewer U: Seminars, Lab, and Tours Cleveland OH Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Value of Water Coalition
9:00 am – 10:30 am Building Out America’s Digital Infrastructure for the 21st Century Economy Washington D.C. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Juneau, AK Port Tour and New Cruise Ship Dock Celebration Juneau AK American Society of Civil Engineers, City of Juneau Docks and Harbors
Saturday, May 21 Event Location Organizer
9:00 am – 12:00 pm VOW Local Innovators Tour: Recovering Resources, Transforming Water: Open House and Tour Chicago IL Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Value of Water Coalition
Monday, May 23 Event Location Organizer
7:30 am – 5:30 pm Symposium for Sustainable Infrastructure: Integrating Sustainability into Infrastructure Development Boulder CO ASCE Colorado Section, University of Colorado at Boulder
7:30 am – 9:00 pm Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference and Probabilistic Mechanics and Reliability Conference 2016 Nashville TN ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute, ASCE Infrastructure Resilience, ASCE Structural Engineering Institute, U.S. Association for Computational Mechanics
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm Mobility 2050: A Vision for Transportation Infrastructure and How We Can Get There Evanston IL Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Northwestern University
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm Beyond the Runway Coalition: Airport Finance – A Free Market Approach, and Airports as Economics Engines Washington D.C. Airports Council International – North America
Wednesday, May 25 Event Location Organizer
10:30 am – 12:00 pm Ribbon Cutting and Tour of the World’s Largest Nutrient Recovery Plant Chicago IL Metropolit
   

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The High Cost of Underinvesting in Infrastructure: $9 a day

May 10th, 2016 | By: Becky Moylan

fta 2016Today’s release of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Failure to Act: Closing the Investment Gap for America’s Economic Future reveals that inadequate infrastructure is costing every American family $3,400 a year in disposable income. The economic study, an update to the initial series ASCE released prior to the 2013 Report Card, identifies the 10-year needs across 10 categories of infrastructure is $3.3 trillion, including a $1.4 trillion investment gap. The $1.4 trillion investment gap comprises:
  • $1.1 trillion throughout the surface transportation network including roads, bridges, transit, and commuter rail.
  • Electricity infrastructure requires an additional $177 billion.
  • The third highest investment gap is $105 billion for water and wastewater infrastructure. 
  • Airports, including the highly anticipated NextGen technology upgrade, require an added $42 billion.
  • America’s inland waterways and ports need an additional $15 billion to close their funding gap.
Our overdue infrastructure bill is costing us time and money. The report identifies the following economic ramifications:
  • $3.9 trillion in GDP, more than the 2013 GDP of Germany
  • $7 trillion of business sales
  • 2.5 million job losses in the year 2025
  • $3,400 in a family’s annual disposable income each year from 2016 to 2025, equal to $9.33 a day.
These findings underscore the findings of the initial Failure to Act series, showing the economic benefits of infrastructure investment reverberate through every sector of the economy, while the economic losses that come from deferred investment also become worse over time. Furthermore, the longer we delay the more likely we are to need to replace the infrastructure rather than repair it. America is currently spending more failing to act on our investment gap then we would to close it. Inefficient infrastructure is costing every household $9.30 a day. However, if every family instead invested an additional $3 a day per household, we could close the infrastructure investment gap in 10 years. By increasing the investment by $144 billion a year for the next 10 years at the federal, state and local levels, we can upgrade our infrastructure, and protect our GDP, jobs, families’ disposable income and our nation’s competitiveness.

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Closing America’s Infrastructure Gap

May 9th, 2016 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

fta 2016

Failure to Act – 2016 Report

Infrastructure is the backbone of our economy and when it’s not maintained all Americans feel the effects, but what does that look like in dollars for my family, my business and the overall economy? The American Society of Civil Engineers’ new economic study, Failure to Act: Closing the Infrastructure Investment Gap for America’s Economic Future will be released on May 10th and will highlight exactly how much America’s infrastructure investment gap is impacting the U.S. economy and household income. The report quantifies how the failure to invest in our aging infrastructure impacts the economy, including:
  • GDP
  • jobs
  • personal disposable income, and
  • business sales.
Download the new report.    

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#FixTheTrustFund This Week: Keeping the U.S. from Driving into Potholes

June 22nd, 2015 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) was set up in 1956 to fund the build and maintain a transportation network nationwide. Today, it is the national bank account for roads, bridges and transit that reimburses states for eligible projects. Inaction by Congress has put the Highway Trust Fund in jeopardy, and with a month left before the temporary funding fix runs out on July 31st, Congress is nowhere near to closing a deal to generate sustainable revenue for the nation’s highway, bridge, and transit systems – investments vital to the health of our recovering economy. #FixTheTrustFund is a call to action to solve this transportation problem today. This week Congress is slated to step up hearings on transportation. Here’s what we’ll be watching in national campaign to #FixTheTrustFund this week: June 23, 10 a.m.: Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee markup of a fiscal 2016 transportation spending measure. (Listen live) June 24, 9:30 a.m.: Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to mark up the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy, or DRIVE, Act. (Info) What to watch for: With the current strong bipartisan consensus, we expect the mark-up to go smoothly. That action will put pressure on the other authorizing committees and the Senate Finance Committee to secure their pieces of the bill before the July 31 legislative deadline. The Senate the Finance Committee will hold a hearing on private sector investment and public-private partnerships with the former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels and current Colorado DOT chief Shailen Bhatt. Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) is expected to highlight his new bipartisan bill that would expand tax-exempt private activity bonds and create a new federal infrastructure tax credit. June 24, 2 p.m.: House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures hearing on the “taxation of the repatriation of foreign earnings as a funding mechanism for a multiyear highway bill.” (Info) What to watch: Across the Capitol in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures will hold a hearing on the prospect of taxing U.S. corporate foreign earnings – otherwise known as repatriation – for deposit in the HTF, which the Obama Administration supports. This funding fix does not have unanimous support on either the Republican or Democratic side of the aisle, so expect some internal party disagreements on this as a solution along with some opposition from large, multinational corporations who will be on the hook to pay the tax. June 24, 2 p.m.: House Transportation and Infrastructure Highways and Transit Subcommittee hearing on “Meeting the Transportation Needs of Rural America.” (Watch live) June 25, 10 a.m.: Senate Finance Committee hearing on exploring ways that private financing could back infrastructure projects. (Info) Help Us #FixTheTrustFund 1. Tell Congress that it’s time to fix the Highway Trust Fund and increase our investment into transportation before the July deadline. 2. If you’re in MD, OR, CO, TX or WI, attend a Town Hall Meeting this week and ask your Member of Congress about their ideas on how to fix the Highway Trust Fund.
6/24/2015 Rep. Harris (R-MD-1) This meeting is conducted by telephone.For more information on this meeting, follow this link: vekeo.com/event/congressman-andy-harris-06242015/?awesm=vekeo.buzz_t1u/ Starts at 6:45 pm
6/27/2015 Sen. Wyden (D-OR) Hood River Valley Adult Center2010 Sterling Dr.Hood River, OR 97031 Starts at 1:00 pm
6/27/2015 Rep. Perlmutter (D-CO-7) Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage4900 Kipling St.Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 Starts at 10:00 am
6/27/2015 Rep. Sessions (R-TX-32) Richland CollegeGarland Campus675 West Walnut StreetGarland, TX 75040-5023This meeting requires an RSVP. Register online.For more information on this meeting, follow this link: sessions.house.gov/index.cfm/june-town-hall Starts at 11:00 am
06/28/2015 Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-WI-5th ) Brookfield Public Safety Building 2100 North Calhoun Road Brookfield, WI 53005For more information on this meeting, follow this link: sensenbrenner.house.gov/contact/ Starts at 7:00 pm
3. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter accounts for the most up-to-date news and information surrounding the HTF debate. 4. Download the “Save America’s Infrastructure” phone app, and email or call your Senators and Representative, directly from your phone. It’s available on Android and Apple .

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2015 Report Card for Iowa’s Infrastructure Arrives Next Tuesday

February 19th, 2015 | By: Infrastructure Report Card

The Iowa Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will release the inaugural 2015 Report Card for Iowa’s Infrastructure on Tuesday, February 24. The report includes evaluations of Iowa aviation, rail, inland waterways, roads, bridges, dams, levees, drinking water, wastewater, electrical energy, and solid waste.

News conference on release of the 2015 Report Card for Iowa’s Infrastructure

WHO: American Society of Civil Engineers – Iowa Section

Speakers:

  • Joe Spradling, P.E., president, Iowa Section ASCE
  • Aaron Granquist, P.E., author and member, Report Card Committee
  • Director Debi Durham, Iowa Economic Development Authority

WHEN: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 10:30 am

WHERE: Wallace Building Auditorium, 502 E 9th Street, Des Moines, Iowa

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Investment in Water Infrastructure Works

September 12th, 2014 | By: Becky Moylan

So often, our water infrastructure goes unnoticed until a pipe bursts. Lately, there have been several events drawing attention to the water sector’s significance, including the water main break at UCLA, algae in Toledo drinking water, and drought in California. Water infrastructure deserves our attention and investment for many reasons, beyond the most recent media attention. This week, ASCE co-hosted Water Works!, a day of events highlighting the economic value in the water sector. The legislative day in Washington, D.C. included the release of a report, which emphasizes the economic impact of water, wastewater and storm water utilities.

Rep. Bob Gibbs, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and Sen. Ben Cardin sharing their thoughts on the importance of water infrastructure for our economy.

 The report, National Economic & Labor Impacts of the Water Utility Sector, reveals the sector supports $524 billion in economic activity. Furthermore, in the next decade the utilities will include 289,000 jobs.

Congressional leaders and public officials shared their thoughts on the importance of investment in infrastructure during a press briefing, which emphasized the bipartisan agreement of water infrastructure investment. “Water infrastructure is a priority we cannot allow to remain unaddressed,” remarked Rep. Tim Bishop, Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment, as a call to action to “build on the accomplishments of WRRDA.” The importance of the water sector was underscored in Sen. Ben Cardin’s comments, as he pointed to the sector’s role in public safety and job growth. Rep. Bob Gibbs, Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment echoed those sentiments, and noted that the aging infrastructure is costing us millions of dollars as valuable water is being lost each day through leaky pipes and breaks. Following the press briefing, a panel of local water leaders shared their water infrastructure investment success stories. The conversation centered around ensuring safe, reliable and affordable water. Wednesday’s events showcase the continuous effort and conversation surrounding improving the nation’s D grade water infrastructure. You can get involved and increase the ripple effect by learning more about the report and utilizing the data to showcase the economic benefits of water infrastructure investment. As Mayor Kevin Faulconer of San Diego said at the event, “There is no better time to invest.”

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Missourians Asked to Vote “Yes” on Sales and Use Tax Increase

July 8th, 2014 | By: Maria Matthews

On August 5, Missourians go to the polls to weigh in on the future of the state’s transportation fund. Rather than enacting a temporary fix through an incremental gas tax hike, the Missouri Legislature put the matter in the hands of constituents in the form of Constitutional Amendment 7 which will appear on the August 5 ballot. If passed, the constitutional amendment will increase the sales and use tax three-quarters of one percent for a period of 10 years.  This increase will establish a dedicated funding source not only for the state wide transportation system but, also county and city roads. With the exception of everyday expenses like, food, gas, utilities, or home and car payments, an additional three-quarter of one percent tax will be added to the existing state sales and use tax. In fact, during this 10-year period the state will be prohibited from raising the gas tax! It is estimated the proposed sales tax increase could lead to $5.4 billion over the lifetime of the tax — approximately $600 million of which will be diverted to county and city transportation projects.  To put this into perspective, the Missouri DOT Long Range Transportation Plan estimates that over the next 20 years, Missouri has at least $70 billion of infrastructure projects requested throughout the state, but only $17.3 billion of available funds are expected to be available. A “yes” vote will ensure a reliable and sustainable source of revenue for the Missouri’s transportation fund. When August 5th arrives we ask that voters remember this: ✓        Money from the tax will only be spent on the improvement of roads, bridges, and other priority transportation projects in Missouri. ✓        90% of the revenue will fund priority transportation projects, statewide, through the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). ✓        5% will be given to counties and 5% given to cities for local transportation projects. ✓        All projects completed through MoDOT will be voted on by the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission and completion will be constitutionally guaranteed. ✓        This sales tax will only apply to non-essential items, specifically exempted are: groceries, gas, utilities, mortgage and car payments, healthcare, prescription drugs, education, and retirement savings. ✓        Creating the tax through a constitutional amendment prevents future politicians from diverting funds to non-transportation spending. In anticipation of the additional funding, MoDOT has even updated its project list.  Failure to increase the sales tax will mean status quo when it comes to Missouri’s transportation infrastructure.  For this reason it is critical Missourians vote “yes” on Constitutional Amendment 7 and help lawmakers direct much needed funds toward maintaining, and improving, statewide transportation systems.

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