APWA Washington Report

April 12, 2021


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LATEST NEWS

President Biden Releases FY 2022 Topline Budget Outline
 

  • On April 9, President Biden released a topline ‘skinny budget’ proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2022, which outlines roughly $1.5 trillion in proposed spending;
  • The President’s proposal is considered a starting point for negotiations between the Administration and Congress;
  • The  request calls for $769 billion in non-defense discretionary funding in FY 2022, a 16 percent increase over the FY 2021 enacted levels, and $753 billion for national defense programs, a 1.7 percent increase;
  • A full FY 2022 budget proposal is said to be in the works, and to be released in the coming months by the Administration;
  • The following proposed public works related items are highlighted below:
    • For Transportation:
      • Overall, $25.6 billion proposed for FY 2022;
      • $600 million to support increase of electric vehicles;
      • $1 billion for Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) discretionary grants;
      • $2.5 billion for the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program;
      • $625 million for a new passenger rail competitive grant program
      • Proposed ‘Thriving Communities’ pilot program to address transportation inequities.
    • For Water Resiliency:
      • $11.2 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency budget, an increase of $2 billion over FY 2021 enacted levels, including:
        • $3.6 billion for water infrastructure, an increase of $625 million;
        • $882 million for the Superfund Remedial program;
        • $75 million to accelerate studies and research on designating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances and setting Safe Drinking Water Act limits;
      • $717 million under the Department of Agriculture for Rural Water and Wastewater Grants and Loans, an increase of $100 million;
      • $17.4 billion towards the Department of Interior (DOI), an increase of $2.4 billion;
      • $6.8 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), an increase of $1 billion.
    • For Emergency Management:
      • $52 billion for the Department of Homeland Security, an increase of approximately $100 million, agencies of note for public works within DHS include:
        • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which would receive $18.9 billion designated towards disaster relief, an increase of $1.8 billion;
        • $2.1 billion for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a slight increase from last year;
      • $852 million for the Small Business Administration (SBA) budget, an increase of $74 million;
      • $46.1 billion towards the Department of Energy (DOE) budget, an increase of $4.3 billion;
      • $11.4 billion for the Department of Commerce, an increase of $2.5 billion:
        • This includes $6.9 billion for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) an increase of $1.4 billion;
      • $1.7 billion at Department of Agriculture towards wildfire suppression and mitigation efforts, an increase of $476 million;
    • For Workforce Development:
      • $102.8 billion for the Department of Education budget, a $29.8 billion increase;
      • $14.2 billion for the Department of Labor budget, a $1.7 billion increase.
  • For additional information on the President’s proposed fiscal year 2022 budget – click here.

Infrastructure Update

  • President Biden is set to host a bipartisan infrastructure discussion at the White House today;
  • Following up on the President’s $2.25 trillion 'American Jobs Plan' introduced March 31, 2021 during a press event in Pittsburgh, PA, both parties and the lead committees for infrastructure investment in Congress are stating their legislative proposals will be introduced and set for mark-up by Memorial Day;
  • APWA issued a press release on March 31, speaking to the infrastructure priorities of the Association;
  • While bipartisan support is very strong for ‘infrastructure’ investment, and for completing the next surface transportation reauthorization before the current law expires September 30, 2021, what specifically will be included and defined as infrastructure needs to be worked out, as well as how to pay for these investments;
  • Additionally, whether there will be one all-encompassing infrastructure package, or multiple packages with different focus, needs to be determined;
  • APWA calls for specific policy solutions and strong federal commitment in the Association’s ‘Public Policy Priorities’ for the 117th Congress;
  • The APWA Government Affairs team continues to engage directly and consistently with Congressional leaders, committees, and the Executive Branch;
  • Please contact APWA Director of Government and Public Affairs Andrea Eales at aeales@apwa.net with any questions about APWA’s Government Affairs activities and priorities.

APWA and House Public Works & Infrastructure Caucus Host Virtual Brief

  • On April 9, APWA in conjunction with the bipartisan House Public Works & Infrastructure Caucus, held a virtual brief titled “Public Works-Protecting and Maintaining Critical Infrastructure and Services During Disasters”;
  • The panel was comprised of APWA members:
    • APWA President and Deputy Director of Public Works-Mary Joyce Ivers, Ventura, CA;
    • Director of Public Works-Carol Haddock, Houston, TX;
    • Washtenaw County Commissioner-Evan Pratt, Washtenaw County, MI;
    • Weston and Sampson Regional Manager-Jeff Wilson, Fort Myers, FL;
  • Members of Congress, Congressional staff, along with APWA members and staff, discussed the role public works plays in protecting and maintaining the nation’s vast array of critical infrastructure before, during and after disasters;
  • A recording of the brief will be available within two weeks on APWA’s YouTube channel and in the Members’ Library.

APWA to host Third Thursday Advocacy Jam

  • April 15 at 3:30pm ET, APWA’s U.S. and Canadian Government Affairs team will host the monthly Third Thursday Advocacy Jam as part of PWX@Home;
  • This virtual event will include an update and open discussion on a range of public policy topics impacting public works, including infrastructure legislation and National Water Week;
  • To participate, please register here or contact Michael Altman at maltman@apwa.net to receive the virtual meeting link.

EPA Holds Water Infrastructure Roundtable

  • April 5, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan hosted a virtual event with water stakeholders to discuss water infrastructure;
  • The event included mayors, water utility directors, and other community leaders sharing their perspectives;
  • A key focus of the speakers was the need to invest in removing lead in drinking water;
  • APWA, in comments on revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule, has called for federal investment to assist localities dealing with lead pipes and service lines;
  • More information on the event can be found here.

FEMA Releases Updated Guidance on Receiving Public Assistance Funds

  • Last week, FEMA published a fact sheet on the “Audit-Related Guidance for Entities Receiving FEMA Public Assistance Funds”;
  • This fact sheet provides information on the annual FEMA Office of Inspector General (OIG) report;
  • The OIG report provides guidelines for recipients and subrecipients of COVID-19 Public Assistance (PA) funds on documenting disaster costs;
  • This in turn helps minimize the loss of FEMA funding, maximizing financial recovery, and preventing fraud, waste, and abuse related to disaster funds;
  • For additional information – click here.

EPA Releases Updated Tool for Water Pollution Monitoring

  • April 9, the EPA released an update to the Sanitary Survey App for Marine and Fresh Waters;
  • This web-based app can be used by the community to help report data on sources of pollution in local bodies of water;
  • This data can then be used by local governments to better protect their lakes, rivers, beaches, and other waters;
  • More information on the app can be found here.

ON THE HORIZON