With a record-shattering $835,000 raised for ACEC/PAC in 2014, the Council began its 2015 advocacy campaign at full steam. ACEC’s agenda for this year is focused on MAP-21 and FAA reauthorization; approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and other energy initiatives; comprehensive tax reform; a budget agreement to replace sequestration; state DOT FAR compliance; and other key tax and regulatory measures. President Obama’s State of the Union speech gave an important nod to infrastructure as an area of potential bipartisan cooperation with the Republican Congress, and Congressional leaders with whom ACEC is working uniformly believe that infrastructure is an area ripe for substantive progress. ACEC’s annual convention, April 19-22, will provide a timely opportunity for our “citizen lobbyists” to engage with their legislators on our critical issues.
- Final 2014 year-end receipts for ACEC/PAC totaled $835,000, setting a new all-time fundraising record; 37 MOs achieved their 2014 ACEC/PAC goals, also a new record; and ACEC/Indiana became the first state to reach its 2015 ACEC/PAC target in January!
- Met with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who said that his key goal for the coming year is reforming the federal tax code; a full interview with Hatch will be featured in the March-April issue of Engineering Inc.
- The upcoming 2015 ACEC Annual Convention is scheduled for April 19-22 at our new, bigger venue – the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. with keynote speakers including General (Ret) Stanley A. McChrystal, former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan; Jake Tapper, CNN’s Chief Washington Correspondent; the program also includes four new “Super Session” expert panel presentations on hot topics in the A/E industry – click here for registration and full information.
- Launched a grassroots Action Alert to generate support for a bipartisan letter to House leaders on the importance of passing a long-term transportation bill funded with sustainable revenue.
- Endorsed the Immigration Innovation Act of 2015, which would increase the number of H-1B visas and green cards available to engineers and other STEM workers.
- The House passed ACEC-backed legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
- ACEC/PAC hosted engineering industry receptions for newly elected Reps. Garret Graves (R-LA), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC), and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), and co-hosted a Florida event for Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).
- Members of ACEC’s Federal Agencies and Procurement Advocacy Committee lobbied House and Senate Committees on design/build reforms and other federal procurement changes, and met with representatives from NAVFAC, USACE and the U.S. Coast Guard to review future projects and projections.
- The President signed into law ACEC-backed legislation to revise and extend for six years the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which provides a federal backstop to the private insurance market for property and facilities.
- The House of Representatives passed legislation to amend the Affordable Care Act to restore the traditional threshold delineating full-time employees from 30 hours to 40 hours per week.
- Conducted “sold out” USDOT FAR audit procedures course in collaboration with FHWA and ACEC/Texas; keep your eye out for the next in this series held in various states.
- Released the Call for Presentations for the ACEC 2015 Fall Conference in Boston, available at http://docs.acec.org/pub/ebc6303c-918b-ceea-ecc0-cde47c845e47.
- The education management system (RCEP) continues to grow, with 51,092 users – a 25% increase from January, 2014 – and added three new Providers: PPG Protective and Marine Coatings; Copper Development; Morris, Polich and Purdy, LLP.
- Coalitions’ best sellers for January included CASE’s National Practice Guidelines for the Structural Engineer of Record and Land Development’s Marketing Your Land Development Firm with Greater Success, both available at www.acec.org/bookstore.
- January was another highly successful month for webinars: I Don’t Need a Website, I Need a Web Strategy; If You Haven’t Planned It, You Can’t Control It; Design-Build Contracts, Law & Risk Management; Writing and Editing for Readable Proposals; The Five Inviolate Laws of Extraordinary Execution, How Extraordinary Leaders See the Dream, Engage the Team, and Really Get Things Done; Industry Economic Update – What Can We Expect for the first half of 2015; The ESOP Exit Strategy – Why an AE Company Should Consider an ESOP as a Corporate Exit Strategy.
- February 2015 online programs will feature: Ten Keys to Business Continuity Planning; Ignite New Business with a Viral Revenue Tool; So What if You Stamp or Sign it? The Meaning of Using Your Professional Seal; Nothing Happens Till Somebody Sells Something; Affirmative Action Program 101; Organizing with Outlook 2010 For Busy People; Negotiating Better Engineering Contracts; Insight into USACE Plans and Market Opportunities (Civil Works, MILCON, and Work for Others); Creating a Social Media Policy; Calculating the Right Earnings to Determine Your Firm’s Value.