January 1, 2015 | By: Brittney Kohler

ASCE staff and members worked throughout the year on a variety of issues important to the profession. From the passage and enactment of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act in the spring and early summer, to the #FixTheTrustFund campaign throughout the summer, and state and local ballot initiatives supporting infrastructure investment this fall, we have much to celebrate.

Gr-LegislativeFederal Issues

Passing the water resources reform & development act

ASCE provided critical support leading to the enactment of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA).

 

Highlights

  • Created a levee safety program
  • Solves long standing expenditure issues with the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund
  • Makes a number of long-sought changes to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund
  • Creates a new water infrastructure nancing program (WIFIA)

Reauthorizing map-21 & highway trust fund  400 x 400

As a result of the society’s efforts, an immediate crisis to the Highway Trust Fund was averted and the program was extended until May 2015. Further effort will be necessary in 2015 to urge Congress to identify additional revenues to provide multi-year funding and project certainty.

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ASCE President Randy Over, P.E., F.ASCE, with US Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

To help educate elected officials and the public, check out FixTheTrustFund.org. ASCE participated in the Rally for Roads in June where members visited their members of Congress and promoted the #FixtheTrustFund message.

We continued to promote our priorities for re-authorization of the federal surface transportation programs, including:

  • Increasing program funding and financing available to deliver projects
  • Focusing on freight to improve national economic competitiveness
  • Streamlining the environmental review process in a responsible way

gr-StateState Issues

States Leading the Way

Transportation infrastructure financing was again one of the top issues facing states in 2014, and ASCE played a key role in supporting measures across the country. ASCE actively supported the gas tax increase passed in New Hampshire
during the 2014 session.

Several transportation and infrastructure ballot measures that ASCE supported were approved by voters on Election Day. Measures that passed include:

  • California (bond measure to improve the state’s water storage and delivery system)
  • Hawaii (sale of special use bonds for dam and reservoir improvements)
  • Maine (water bond measure)
  • Maryland (“lockbox” for state Transportation Trust Fund)
  • Rhode Island (bonds to invest in transit infrastructure)
  • Texas (proposal to divert rainy day fund towards road improvements)
  • Wisconsin (constitutional protection “lockbox” for state transportation fund).

ASCE Sections led the way by delivering legislative testimony in Minnesota (infrastructure funding) and Washington (continuing education and infrastructure funding), and producing legislative advocacy days in the capitols of Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Vermont.

Partnering with Sections & Other Groups

ASCE actively collaborated with Sections on issues in Alabama (dam safety), Illinois (opposition to erosion of QBS), New York (bridge investment), and New Jersey (passage of Good Samaritan legislation).

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AK Representative Sam Kito, P.E., M.ASCE, and Dale Nelson, P.E., F.ASCE, assisted in presenting ASCE issues to state legislators at the NCSL meeting in Anchorage, AK.

ASCE continued our valuable partnerships with the Council of State Governments (CSG) and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), through participation in forums that bring state legislative leaders together to discuss transportation issues and the challenges they are facing in their respective states.

Raising the Bar

State GR staff provided ongoing support to the Raise the Bar Committee, and assisted in government relations planning in several potential Raise the Bar target states.

gr-ReportCardInfrastructure Initiatives

Growing the State Report Card Program

ASCE volunteers worked, with help from ASCE staff, to release 8 state and local Infrastructure Report Cards in 2014 that have received unprecedented media coverage in their communities.

From media interviews to billboards to legislative events, 100+ ASCE members volunteered with our Report Card efforts.

Maximizing The Value Of Transportation Investments

ASCE teamed with the Eno Center for Transportation to promote the benets of looking at life cycle costs early in transportation planning, producing a joint report, "Maximizing the Value of Investments Using Life Cycle Cost Analysis". The report was released at a packed event on Capitol Hill with Federal Highway Administration leaders.

Focusing on Business Leaders

We are reaching the business community with our infrastructure message. ASCE partnered on two events this year with the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce and Georgia Chamber of Commerce to highlight the Report Card and infrastructure’s critical link to economic growth.

gr-GrassrootsGrassroots Advocacy

Calling Attention to Advocacy Efforts by Individual ASCE Members

Key Contact Program

  • New Advocacy Proles series on the ASCE Roundup highlighted member involvement in activities at the local, state and federal levels
  • Outstanding Civil Engineer Advocate of the Year Awards honored members who went above and beyond for ASCE's issues

Legislative Fly-In

ASCE members from Florida take part in the 2014 Legislative Fly-In in Washington, DC

ASCE members from Florida take part in the 2014 Legislative Fly-In in Washington, DC

  • 185 participants from 43 states
  • Meetings with over 200 Congressional offices
  • Additional ASCE members participated in the Transportation Construction Coalition Fly-In in June 2014 with over 200 members from our transportation industry coalition partners

gr-NewsMedia Engagements

2014 Highlights

8,807 mentions in all 50 states and 15 countries around the world, including 5,969 Report Card mentions

347 stories appeared in major media outlets/wire
services including:

USA Today, LA Times, NBC News, CBS News, ABC News, Fox News, Chicago Tribune, NY Daily News, Time Magazine, NPR, Washington Post, MSNBC, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Reuters, AP and others

Media Major Highlights

  • NBC Nightly News (7/31/14) interview with Casey Dinges
  • Marketplace radio (Aug. 2014) interview with Greg DiLoreto about aging water infrastructure following water main break near UCLA campus
  • 60 Minutes interview with Andy Herrmann about the state of nation’s bridges – 11/23/14

60-minutes

Download 2014 Government Relations Year in Review as a PDF to print out or share with colleagues.

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