APWA – Washington Report (May 15, 2017)

May 15, 2017

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APWA Board Director Bill Spearman Scheduled to Testify on the Hill

  • On May 18 at 10:00 am ET, Mr. Bill Spearman of Saluda, SC, and APWA Director-at-Large Environmental Management, will testify before the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee;
  • The subject of the May 18 hearing is integrated planning;
  • To view the hearing live click here.

National Infrastructure Week & National Public Works Week

  • This week, May 15-19, is ‘Infrastructure Week’ which is celebrating its fifth year;
  • Upcoming next week, May 21-27, APWA will celebrate its 57th National Public Works Week;
  • Both organizations are collaborating to promote the hundreds of events taking place across the country to highlight the two weeks and the importance of investing in and supporting public works and infrastructure;
  • On May 24, the APWA Washington, D.C. office is hosting an event on Capitol Hill to commemorate National Public Works Week;
  • The event, “Donuts and Trucks on the Hill”, is being sponsored by the House Public Works & Infrastructure Caucus and is in conjunction with the D.C. Department of Public Works;
  • APWA Executive Director Scott Grayson and the APWA Washington, D.C. office will also participate in a “Graffiti Wipeout” event with the D.C. Department of Public Works as part of National Public Works Week;
  • Please click here to view a copy of the invitation;
  • Please be sure to share the invitation with the offices of your U.S. Representative and Senators.

Draft Bill to Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program 

  • A draft is expected to be introduced in the House to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP);
  • If enacted, the proposed bill would authorize funding to the program for five years;
  • The NFIP was established by the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 and was most recently reauthorized by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Title II of P.L. 112-141);
  • The general purpose of the NFIP is both to offer primary flood insurance to properties with significant flood risk, and to reduce that hazard through the adoption of floodplain management standards;
  • Communities volunteer to participate in the NFIP in order to have access to federal flood insurance, and in return are required to adopt minimum standards;
  • No timetable has been set for action on the draft bill which may be viewed here.

Trump Administration Updates

  • Mr. Scott Gottlieb was confirmed by the Senate last week to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA);
  • This week the Senate plans to vote on the nomination of Mr. Jeffrey Rosen to serve as the Deputy Secretary for the Department of Transportation (DOT).

President Trump Signs Cybersecurity Order

  • On May 11, President Trump issued an executive order to streamline the process of developing a common strategy within federal government agencies to address cybersecurity issues;
  • The executive order entitled, “Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure” may be viewed here.

House Votes Scheduled for Homeland Security Measures

  • This week the House of Representatives is scheduled to consider two bills under suspension of the rules, which is a procedure reserved for quick passage of non-controversial legislation;
  • H.R. 1616 – the Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017, authored by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX);
  • If enacted, H.R. 1616 would require the National Computer Forensics Institute to disseminate homeland security information related to the investigation and prevention of cyber and electronic crime as well as provide for education, training, and equipping state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges–additional information may be found here;
  • H.R. 2169 – the Improving Fusion Centers Access to Information Act, authored by Rep. John Katko (R-NY);
  • If enacted, H.R. 2169 would direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to identify and address gaps in information sharing at fusion centers;
  • Fusion centers facilitate threat information sharing between DHS and federal, state, local, tribal and private sector partners, for additional information, click here.

On the Horizon

  • The Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation & Infrastructure has a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, May 16 at 3:15 pm ET on Leveraging Federal Funding/Innovative Solutions for Infrastructure–click here for more information;
  • The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Communications & Technology Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, May 17 at 10:00 am ET focusing on the Future of Emergency Alertingclick here for more details;
  • The Senate EPW Committee will conduct a hearing on Wednesday, May 17 at 10:00am ET to discuss Improving America’s Transportation Infrastructure–click here for additional information;
  • The Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing on drinking water system improvements under the Safe Drinking Water Act on Friday, May 19, 2017 at 9:30 am ET, click here for additional information.