By David Raymond, ACEC CEO
The White House and House Ways and Means Committee released proposals to reform the tax structure and boost investment in the nation’s infrastructure.
Translating these proposals into action is the big challenge ahead and will be a priority for ACEC’s “citizen lobbyists” at the upcoming Spring Convention, Apr 27-30, 2014 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. The Convention addresses politics and the economy as it pertains to our industry.
Special guests include Bill Shuster, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, CBS political correspondent Bob Schieffer, former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief Economist Martin Regalia, and former IRS Commissioner Mark Everson. Click here for registration information.
• ACEC MO leaders received proposed ACEC Bylaws revisions to comply with changes in law and association best practices with comments due February 28; final vote at upcoming Board meeting.
• The White House and the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee advocated legislation this week that would reform tax laws and raise new revenue to support the reauthorization of MAP-21.
• The State Department, in its final supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Keystone XL Pipeline project, concluded the pipeline is unlikely to have a significant climate impact, a major step forward towards approval of the project.
• ACEC member firm growth increased 2% since July 1, 2013, from 5,015 to 5,117; employee strength grew 15% from 328,063 to 377,638 over the same period.
• ACEC is working with the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee on P3-related initiatives to include in the reauthorization of MAP-21; Parsons Brinckerhoff’s COO Greg Kelly shared industry views on P3s with a working group of the House Committee, including a key point emphasized by ACEC that P3s should be used to supplement, not supplant, core public funding for infrastructure.
• Joined with a coalition of over 100 organizations urging support for the Achieving Less Excess in Regulation and Requiring Transparency Act, which would reduce the regulatory burden on businesses.
• Members of ACEC’s Environment and Energy Committee discussed industry priorities for the final version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) with senior House committee staff.
• Senate committee staff briefed ACEC members on draft legislation that will focus on energy grid reliability and affordability, and asked for ACEC’s input.
• AASHTO released its 2014 National Compensation Matrix (NCM), which state DOTs use as a guide in evaluating executive compensation in firm overhead; ACEC participated in its development, in collaboration with AASHTO and the Federal Highway Administration.
• ACEC’s Federal Agencies and Procurement Advocacy Committee met with senior Corps of Engineers officials to resolve issues of concern, including the need for more timely information from the agency on market opportunities, streamlining the task order process, and problems associated with the transition to a new system of firm evaluations.
• Senior House committee staff briefed ACEC members on the status of ACEC-backed legislation to limit the use of single-step design build.
• ACEC lobbyists briefed and gained input from members of the large firm Design Professionals Coalition (DPC) on key industry priorities – including MAP-21 reauthorization, WRDA, tax reform, SEC municipal advisor rule, and state DOT FAR compliance.
• ACEC/PAC hosted engineering industry congressional fundraising events for Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), Rep. John Culberson (R-TX), Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE), Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR).
• Released new Land Development Coalition publication: Establishing Financial Controls for Successful Development Projects, currently available here.
• EJCDC released its Commentary on Engineering Services Documents (E-001), which offers a summary of the engineering series of contract documents and how they are intended to be used; download at no cost here.
• Don’t miss these business webinars offered in March: Why Clients REALLY Select Your Firm; Sustainable Green Design; Design and Construction Cases in the Courts; ESOPs and Engineering Firms – Perfect Together; Top Six Wage & Hour Mistakes; Ensuring Profitable Growth, Developing Winning Strategies for Solid, Measurable Results; Emotional intelligence (EQ) of Leaders in the 21st Century; Ethical Decision-Making for PEs: Today’s Standards and Benefits; Rebranding Your Firm – Why? What? and How?;Improving Project Reliability through a Five-Stage Schedule Maturity Framework.
• Popular February business webinars included: Six Steps to Improving Your Profits by Reducing Client Problems; Ownership Transition 2.0; Are You Fighting Fires Instead of Managing Your Employees; Driving Performance through Enhanced Data Management; Marketing and Finance Can Be Friends (with Powerful Results); Sharpen Your Communication Skills!; “Hey Boomers…Meet the Millennials”: Unlocking the Secrets of an Intergenerational Workforce; Selling in Three Acts: How to Script an Award-Winner!; Enabling Social Collaboration and Engagement in the Workplace; Engineer-Led Design-Build: Simple, Safe & Profitable.
• 35 small firm owners attended the Small Firm Council Winter Seminar Stepping Up: Building a Performance Culture Across the Generations,” in New Orleans, LA in February.
• ACEC’s popular business management course the Business of Design Consulting, being held in March has record attendance and is sold out.