SBA/NASBP Bonding Across America 2018
Building upon the momentum from the 2017 “Bonding Across America,” Programs, NASBP and the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Surety Guarantees signed a second Memorandum of Understanding to host four bonding educational programs in 2018 to be held in Las Vegas, NV; Carey, NC (near Raleigh, NC area), Milwaukee, WI; and in the Washington, DC metro area.
The first program takes place in Las Vegas on Monday, March 19. NASBP presenters will include Lourdes Landa of BB&T Insurance Services of Orange County and Larry Holden of Assurance, LTD. The Carey, NC program will take place on Tuesday, April 3. NASBP presenters will include Robert Coon of Scott Insurance, Jessica Griffin of Bond Exchange, and Adam Pfanmiller of BB&T Insurance Services. The Milwaukee program will take place on Wednesday, June 20. Thus far, presenters include Nick Newton of Newton Bonding and Brad Babcock of Babcock Solutions. The Washington, DC metro area program will take place in August at a location to be determined. NASBP presenters will include Josh Etemadi with Construction Bonds, Inc.--Murray Securus and others yet to be confirmed.
Similar to previous NASBP/SBA Programs, the format will introduce topics, including bonding and insurance, banking and finance, federal assistance programs, and local procurement opportunities. NASBP will keep the membership apprised as more details are finalized. Watch for more details about these important educational opportunities for small contractors at the NASBP dedicated website.
Farewell to Shannon Crawford
On February 9, NASBP said goodbye to Shannon Crawford, Assistant Director of Government Relations, as she accepted a position with the Plastic Industry Association to be its Director of State Government Relations. During her nearly five years of service at NASBP, Crawford made significant contributions to NASBP. Her can-do-spirit will be missed by her fellow NASBP colleagues, members, and industry stakeholders. In her absence, Larry LeClair, Director of Government Relations will assume her responsibilities. All questions concerning state legislation/regulation should be directed to LeClair at email@example.com.
Federal Activities: Infrastructure Spending Front and Center
As reported in the February 14 edition of the NASBP Focal Point enewsletter, President Trump sent to Capitol Hill his FY 2019 proposed budget, which included the long-awaited proposal addressing an infrastructure spending package. The 53-page proposal "Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America," is structured around four main priorities; generate $1.5 trillion in new investments, shorten permitting requirements, invest in rural infrastructure, and invest in worker training programs. The $200 billion will be allocated as follows: $100 billion for direct grants to local governments, $50 billion to projects in rural areas in the form of block grants, $20 billion to large projects, and $30 billion dedicated to existing infrastructure programs.
Responding to the President’s plan, U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman, Bill Shuster (R-PA 9th) and Ranking Member Pete DeFazio (D-OR 4th) are working together on a bill based on conversations with the White House. According to Chairman Shuster, an infrastructure bill could be ready "closer to the summer." The Chairman emphasized that any infrastructure bill needs bipartisan support, which might include some sort of financing mechanism, such as an increase to the federal gas tax, which has not been increased since 1993. There has been support from construction and business groups for an increase to the tax to boost the Highway Trust Fund, which is heading for another shortfall at the end of 2020. However, this mechanism to raise revenue still remains unpopular among the Republican leadership. Stay tuned as this issue begins to heat up.