June 14, 2012
Restore Mandatory Funding for Small Communities and Local Governments in the Senate Farm Bill! Contact your Senator and Urge Them to Support Senate Amendment 2362!
This week, the Senate began debate on the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (S. 3240) also known as the Farm Bill. In addition to providing support to farmers and promoting conservation, the farm bill usually provides technical and financial support in the form of loans and grants for infrastructure projects and employment programs in small towns and rural communities under the Rural Development Title. However, as it is currently drafted, the Senate farm bill does not provide mandatory funding for the Rural Development Title, despite the fact that the Rural Development Title received $150 million in the 2008 Farm Bill.
Senate Amendment 2362 will restore mandatory funding to integral programs within the Rural Development Title such as the Rural Energy Savings Program or Rural Star which provides funding for rural public utilities and electric cooperatives to help their customers finance energy efficiency retrofits and the Water/Wastewater Backlog which provides funding for water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities. Senate Amendment 2362 would provide $100 million for the Water/Wastewater Backlog and $50 million for Rural Star Program.
Mandatory funding for rural development will provide jobs, improve infrastructure, and enhance the quality of life in rural and small communities. Small towns and rural communities comprise nearly 50 percent of APWA’s membership.Let your Senators know that funding for Rural Development is an APWA priority and should be theirs too. Visit the APWA Legislative Action center at http://capwiz.com/apwa/home/
click on the ‘take action’ button, fill in your contact information and click ‘send’ to e-mail them a prepared message, which you may customize. You can call your Senators and tell them to support Senate Amendment 2362!
To view the Senate Farm Bill, visit http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112s3240pcs/pdf/BILLS-112s3240pcs.pdf
June 20, 2012
Contact Your Congressional Representatives Today and Urge Quick Action to Finalize the Bill!
Time is Running Out. The Transportation Bill Remains Stalled in Conference Committee with a June 30 Deadline.
A House-Senate Conference Committee working on a final agreement on a surface transportation bill is running out of time. The ninth funding extension of transportation programs expires in 10 days on June 30.
Call and write your Congressional Representatives today! Tell them it is time to end the extensions and finalize a transportation authorization bill!
Enactment of a long overdue surface transportation bill is an APWA priority. APWA supports completion of a well-funded, multi-year authorization that:
at a minimum provides current levels of investment plus inflation
strengthens local decision-making authority and flexibility to address local transportation needs and
expedites the project delivery process.
In May the House-Senate conference committee began negotiations toward passing a long-term surface transportation authorization bill, but the conferees still have not reached an agreement.
In March the Senate approved a two-year, $109 billion reauthorization bill, MAP-21 (S1813). The Senate bill reauthorizes highway and transit programs at current funding levels plus inflation, consolidates programs, eliminates earmarks and expedites project delivery. Because the House did not approve its own transportation reauthorization bill, MAP-21 is the basis for negotiating a final bill. However, the House approved a “shell” bill (HR 4348) which initiated the process for establishing the conference committee.
Let your representatives in the House and Senate know that passage of a long-term transportation bill is a priority for you and for APWA, and should be their priority, too.
Visit the APWA Legislative Action center at http://capwiz.com/apwa/home/
, click on the ‘take action’ button, fill in your contact information and click ‘send’ to e-mail them a prepared message, which you may customize. You can call your Senators’ and Representative’s office and tell them that a long-term transportation authorization is crucial to the sustainability, safety, and economic vitality of local communities across the country.
To view the Senate bill, visit http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112s1813es/pdf/BILLS-112s1813es.pdf
To view the House bill, visit http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr4348rds/pdf/BILLS-112hr4348rds.pdf
June 28, 2012
Conferees Reach Agreement on a Multiyear Transportation Bill! Contact Your Congressional Representatives Today and Urge Them to Vote YES on the Transportation Conference Report
House and Senate conferees have reached an agreement on a bill to reauthorize federal surface transportation programs. Because temporary funding expires June 30, Congress is expected to act quickly to vote on the measure.
The Senate may vote as early as today and the House as early as tomorrow.
The bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), reauthorizes federal highway, transit and safety programs at current levels of funding through September 2014, a year longer than what the Senate bill originally authorized. The legislation also includes APWA-supported reforms to expedite the project delivery process, and it will provide stable funding for state and local transportation programs.
Call your Senators and House member today.
Urge them to vote YES on the transportation conference report. To find the phone number for your Congressional Representatives’ offices, visit http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members and enter your zip code. You can also visit the APWA Legislative Action center at http://capwiz.com/apwa/home/, click on the ‘take action’ button, fill in your contact information and click ‘send’ to e-mail them a prepared message, which you may customize. Let your Congressional Representatives know that a long-term transportation authorization is crucial to the sustainability, safety, and economic vitality of local communities across the country.
To view the Transportation Conference Report, visit http://www.rules.house.gov/Media/file/PDF_112_2/LegislativeText/CRPT-112hrpt-HR4348.pdf.
Thank you for your support. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Tracy Okoroike at APWAAdvocates@apwa.net or 202-218-6702.