Utility Contractor

MAR-APR 2018

As the official magazine of NUCA, Utility Contractor presents the latest information affecting every aspect of the utility construction industry, including technological advancements, safety issues, legislative developments and instructional advice.

Issue link: http://digital.utilitycontractoronline.com/i/947577

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Page 35 of 43

NUCA Government Relations Committee Fights for Contractors on Capitol Hill COMMITTEE REPORT O ne of the primary missions of NUCA over the de- cades has been representing the interests of exca- vation and utility contractors at the federal level. Integral to achieving that task is the Government Relations Committee, whose goal is to increase both the edu- cation and advocacy of NUCA members in legislative and regulatory involvement. It is a two-fold mission: identify the legislative and regulatory priorities, and then help members understand the issues and give them the tools to best act on those priorities. The committee meets approximately six times per year, either in person or via conference calls. Of course, the show- case event for the committee is the annual Washington Sum- mit, which is planned for May 22-24. The Summit gives NUCA members a rare chance to meet face-to-face with their congressional representatives and let them know the issues most directly impacting them. The top priority currently fac- ing the committee is promoting and getting an infrastructure bill passed. According to Will Brown, NUCA's director of Government Affairs, this year presents a unique opportunity for utility contractors. "There is a great opportunity in the current cli- mate, especially on the heels of the President's unveiling of an infrastructure spending plan," he said. "However, that is counterbalanced by the propensity of legislation to stall in Congress due to partisan issues. Still, there is a great oppor- tunity to get infrastructure projects moving forward." In the past, the Government Relations Committee has scored significant wins, including passage of the Water In- frastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), which has led to more than $1 billion in new funding for water proj- ects. The committee has also successfully lobbied for legisla- tion related to tax reform, reducing limitations on Private Activity Bonds, and issues related to workforce development. The Government Relations Committee, chaired by Tom Butler, Burgess Civil LLC, Tampa, Florida, works closely with the Political Action Committee in determining the di- rection of lobbying efforts and which representatives and candidates to support. NUCA members are welcomed to participate in the Gov- ernment Relations Committee. "By being involved with the committee you are able to educate yourself on the different issues that are NUCA priorities," Brown said. "These issues affect the lives and businesses of excavation and utility con- tractors, and by working together we can help create an at- mosphere that makes their businesses run more smoothly. "Getting involved with the committee not only helps edu- cate people, but it also spurs them to take action regarding legislative and regulatory outreach, as well as help determine our next priorities." For information on the Government Relations Committee, contact Will Brown at will@nuca.com. 36 Utility Contractor | March/April 2018 NUCA Government Relations Committee Chairman Tom Butler of Burgess Civil (left) discusses important industry issues with Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.). (From left) Rep. Mike Coffman's (R-Colo.) legislative aide listens while Yvonne Bland and Don Taylor (HD Supply Waterworks), Jeff Rumer (UIT) and Andrew Bock (Triunity Engineering & Management) discuss how dramatically federal investment in water infrastructure has fallen while investment in transportation infrastructure has largely remained constant since the early 1980s.

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