Infrastructure Update: August 13, 2021

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The Senate advanced the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (BID) earlier this week, by a vote of 69-30. This came after a controversial weekend, involving Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) withholding support for a manager’s package on amendments, which included changes to the cryptocurrency provisions and defense funding. Senators were not successful in negotiating a deal of further amendments and the Senate eventually advanced the BID. A handful of amendments passed prior to the weekend excluding technical changes. Overall, topline numbers and the revenue provisions remain intact. Of note, 19 Republicans voted for the BID, including Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), James Risch (R-ID), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Roger Wicker (R-MS). Three Senators originally in favor of the BID had a change of heart post the CBO score: Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Todd Young (R-IN), although Rounds was the only Senator not present for the final vote due to family concerns. The BID now heads over to the House. 
  • Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) did not wait long to act on his next priority, the budget resolution. Democrats unveiled text for the measure earlier this week and acted fast in order to get the budget reconciliation process underway. The Senate kicked off the first procedural step, which is to set the framework to instruct the funding appropriations from various committees. The Senate vote-a-rama began immediately after the BID passed on Tuesday. Countless amendments were offered and roughly 30 were adopted. The Senate finished the vote-a-rama early Wednesday morning and advanced the budget measure by a vote of 50-49. Again, Sen. Rounds was not present.
  • The Senate’s work is paused for now, as the upper chamber is in recess until mid-September. Democratic Leadership in the House instructed the lower chamber to gear up for a return to Washington, D.C., later this month. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced that during the week of August 23, the House will be in-session for a brief period to vote on the budget measure. However, this comes with complications. It was the progressives that forced Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to pass the BID and budget measures simultaneously. This week 96 progressives in the House sent a letter, shortly after the Senate’s passage of the budget resolution, to Pelosi expressing they are willing to withhold support for the BID until the Senate also adopts a “robust” spending package to fund social programs not covered by the infrastructure bill. The letter can be found here
  • Now, moderate Democrats in the House are vocalizing their frustrations with Pelosi wanting to hold on the BID until reconciliation passes. Roughly half a dozen moderates have said they could block the House from voting on the budget measure before the BID. This will be a challenge for Pelosi whose party holds a very slim majority in the House. She can afford to lose less than a handful of her caucus on any vote. Thus far, Pelosi has shown no signs of relenting to the calls from moderates to move infrastructure first. As of Friday morning, nine moderate Democrats wrote to Pelosi stating they would withhold support on the budget resolution until the BID is passed and signed into law. The group includes Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Carolyn Boudreaux (D-GA), Filemon Vela (D-TX), Jared Golden (D-ME), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Vincente Gonzalez (D-TX), Ed Case (D-HI), Jim Costa (D-CA), and Kurt Schrader (D-OR). The letter can be found here
  • Assuming Democrats in the House stick together and pass the Senate-approved budget resolution, the next steps will be for Congressional committees to oversee the assembling of reconciliation instructions. House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY) suggested House committees will go first. Each committee can increase or decrease specific costs as long as the final spending amounts instructed for that committee are unchanged. Once committees report their bills to the Budget Committee, no more substantive changes can be made. The Senate-passed budget resolution gives Senate committees a deadline of September 15, which even Leader Schumer admitted will be difficult to achieve. Of note, during the process for the American Rescue Plan there were 11 Senate committees instructed to report reconciliation language, but none were marked up or formally responded to the instructions. 

 

IN THE NEWS: BIDEN ADMINISTRATION NEWS

Biden tackles inflation concerns as he touts wins on infrastructure (CNN 8/11)

  • “President Joe Biden on Wednesday hit back against inflation concerns and took a victory lap for his recent Senate wins, citing a series of economic reports released in recent days that he says show his plans for the American economy are working. The President also outlined a number of new steps his administration is taking to lower consumer costs, like groceries and oil.”

Biden is confident House will pass $1T infrastructure bill, $3.5T budget (Local 10 8/11)

  • “President Joe Biden celebrated the Senate passed his $3.5 trillion budget plan and his $1 trillion infrastructure bill, and he is confident the House will do the same, as he continues to promote his agenda. On Wednesday, Biden delivered a speech and held a virtual roundtable on his Build Back Better agenda and declared it is a ‘long-term investment’ that is fiscally responsible. ‘If your primary concern right now is the cost of living, you should support this plan, not oppose it,’ Biden said. Biden also said the plans will lower costs for working families, generate economic growth and create jobs. The bill also includes free universal Pre-K education, two tuition-free years of community college, funding to improve healthcare, and a plan to combat climate change.”

Transportation Secretary Buttigieg visits Dallas to view projects impacted by infrastructure bill (FOX 4 8/11)

  • “U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited North Texas Wednesday and got to see some of the things the infrastructure bill will be used for. Under the infrastructure bill, Texas would get upwards of $30 billion to put towards broadband, public transportation, and highways and bridge improvement projects.”

HUD Secretary Fudge touts Biden $1 trillion infrastructure plan (AL 8/10)

  • “HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge toured a new public housing development in Birmingham on Wednesday morning and touted President Joe Biden’s roughly $1 trillion infrastructure plan that passed in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday as a major boon to the city.”

Buttigieg: Infrastructure bill ‘a national priority’ (NBC 8/10)

  • “A rare coalition of Democrats and Republicans joined together Tuesday on Capitol Hill, delivering a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s agenda by approving a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. The Senate voted 61 to 30 in favor of the bipartisan package that would provide nearly $550 billion in new spending over five years for roads, bridges, broadband internet, and public works systems.”

Big win for $1T infrastructure bill: Dems, GOP come together (AP 8/9)

  • “With a robust vote after weeks of fits and starts, the Senate approved a $1 trillion infrastructure plan for states coast to coast on Tuesday, as a rare coalition of Democrats and Republicans joined together to overcome skeptics and deliver a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s agenda.”

Biden celebrates a bipartisan win after Senate passes massive infrastructure bill (CNN 8/10)

  • “President Joe Biden celebrated the Senate’s passage of a historic, sweeping $1.2 trillion bipartisan package on Tuesday, a step toward fulfilling a key item in his legislative agenda that also amounts to the biggest bipartisan win of his presidency so far. ‘The death of this legislation was mildly premature,’ Biden said during a speech at the White House Tuesday afternoon. ‘After years and years of “Infrastructure Week,” we are on the cusp of an infrastructure decade that I truly believe will transform America.’”

Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill could take years to transform U.S. (Washington Post 8/10)

  • “It has taken years for Congress to finally get behind its long-imagined goal of legislation to upgrade the nation’s ailing infrastructure. And even if signed into law this fall, it could take many more years for Americans to feel its full impact. While President Biden’s stimulus plan delivered tangible economic benefits to most of the country within weeks, key parts of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan that the Senate passed on Tuesday morning — which still needs to clear the House of Representatives — may take the better part of a decade to come to fruition.”

U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh visits Eugene to talk infrastructure, new path to jobs (The Register-Guard 8/10)

  • “The U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh made a stop Tuesday in Eugene on his tour promoting the Biden Administration’s bipartisan infrastructure bill and the American Jobs Plan, which the administration says will lead to job growth and investments in America’s middle class and workforce training.”

Buttigieg visits N.J. commuter towns to pitch $1 trillion infrastructure bill (NJ 8/9)

  • “U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg predicted a years worth of ground breakings on transportation projects across New Jersey, if the Biden Administrations $1 trillion infrastructure plan wins approval in U.S. Senate. Buttigieg made the comment after he heard the concerns of Central Jersey mayors during a 40-minute roundtable in Westfield Monday.”

Biden administration blitzes Georgia to sell infrastructure plan (Atlanta Journal Constitution 8/6)

  • “The nation’s top transportation official rolled into Atlanta’s suburbs on Friday to promote the bipartisan infrastructure plan as part of an intense White House effort to sell Georgians on the $1 trillion overhaul. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s visit to Peachtree Corners and Doraville came as the U.S. Senate neared a key vote on the package, which President Joe Biden likened to game-changing federal investments of the past such as the construction of the interstate highway system.”

Treasury Secretary reportedly against amending crypto language in infrastructure bill (Cointelegraph 8/6)

  • “Janet Yellen’s position on a ‘compromise’ amendment proposed yesterday is unclear, but she reportedly raised objections to the language on crypto put forth by Senators Wyden, Lummis and Toomey. On Wednesday, several United States senators proposed an amendment to an infrastructure bill that would clarify language concerning crypto. Even though that proposal seemingly has the support of the White House, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has reportedly come out against the measure.”

Biden nudges Senate over ‘historic’ $1T infrastructure bill (AP 8/6)

  • “Despite a rocky week of fits and starts, President Joe Biden on Friday praised the Senate for edging the bipartisan infrastructure plan closer to passage, ahead of a key vote on the $1 trillion package. As Biden spoke from the White House, he compared the ‘historic investment’ to building the transcontinental railroad or the interstate highway system — lofty themes he has touched on before as he nudges Congress along. The public works projects being unleashed will be powered by good-paying, blue-collar jobs, he said.”

 

CONGRESSIONAL NEWS 

Moderates Threaten Pelosi (PunchBowl News 8/13)

  • “Nine House Democrats have signed a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying, ‘We will not consider voting for a budget resolution until the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passes the House and is signed into law.’ The letter is signed by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (N.J.), Carolyn Bourdeaux (Ga.), Filemon Vela (Texas), Jared Golden (Maine), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Vincente Gonzalez (Texas), Ed Case (Hawaii), Jim Costa (Calif.) and Kurt Schrader (Ore.). This is as firm a threat as this group of moderate Democrats has made. And if they hold together, they can prevent Pelosi from passing the House Democratic budget resolution the week of Aug. 23.”

Big win for $1T infrastructure bill: Dems, GOP come together (AP 8/11)

  • “With a robust vote after weeks of fits and starts, the Senate approved a $1 trillion infrastructure plan for states coast to coast on Tuesday, as a rare coalition of Democrats and Republicans joined together to overcome skeptics and deliver a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s agenda. ‘Today, we proved that democracy can still work,’ Biden declared at the White House, noting that the 69-30 vote included even Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. ‘We can still come together to do big things, important things, for the American people,’ Biden said. The overwhelming tally provided fresh momentum for the first phase of Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ priorities, now heading to the House.” 

Crypto, Auto Safety Loom as Infrastructure Flashpoints in House (BloombergTax 8/11

  • “The Senate’s $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure legislation faces an uphill battle in the House, where cryptocurrency, chemicals and transportation lobbyists, and advocates are jockeying to alter it to benefit their industries. The Senate’s 69-30 vote Tuesday to pass the measure marked a major step forward for President Joe Biden’s economic agenda and shifts the burden to House Democrats who hold a narrow majority and don’t all agree on the next steps. ‘We are disappointed in the Senate product, and we are hopeful that the House will still have an opportunity to put their imprint on the bill,’ said Cathy Chase, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, who is pushing for changes to the auto safety provisions in the legislation.” 

The Senate passes the infrastructure bill, and turns to the Democratic budget. (NYT 08/10)

  • “The Senate on Tuesday passed a sweeping $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, capping weeks of intense negotiations and debate over the largest federal investment in the nation’s aging public works system in more than a decade. The final tally was 69 to 30, and Vice President Kamala Harris gaveled the vote closed. The legislation, which still must pass the House, would touch nearly every facet of the American economy and fortify the nation’s response to the warming of the planet. It would greatly increase funding to modernize the nation’s power grid and finance projects to better manage climate risks, and it would devote hundreds of billions of dollars to repair and replace aging public works projects. The legislation was largely negotiated by a group of 10 Senate Republicans and Democrats and White House officials.”

Senate passes $1T bipartisan infrastructure bill in major victory for Biden (The Hill 8/10)

  • “The Senate on Tuesday passed a roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal, a significant win for President Biden and the first step on his top legislative priority. Senators voted 69-30 on the bill, which was spearheaded by a bipartisan group of senators led by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). Nineteen GOP senators voted with all Democrats to pass the legislation. The bill is now heading to the House, where it faces an uncertain future and skepticism from progressives. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has vowed she won’t take it up until the Senate passes the second part of its infrastructure two step, a sweeping $3.5 trillion spending package that includes Democrats’ top priorities.”

Three GOP senators who backed bipartisan framework oppose resulting infrastructure bill (Politico 8/10)

  • “Three Republicans in the original group of 21 senators who endorsed the bipartisan physical infrastructure framework will oppose the legislation enacting it. In recent days, GOP Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas, Todd Young of Indiana and Mike Rounds of South Dakota announced they would not support the final infrastructure bill, citing concerns about the deficit and some of its provisions. Moran and Young are up for reelection in 2022 and are both former chairs of the Senate GOP campaign arm. The Senate is set on Tuesday to pass the bipartisan physical infrastructure measure, which includes $550 billion in new spending on roads, bridges, ports, transit, broadband, rail and water infrastructure. The changed stances from three of the 11 Republicans in the original bipartisan group won’t affect Senate passage of the proposal. Although Senate Republicans have raised concerns about the bill’s financing, the legislation has backing from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

The power of 10: Inside the ‘unlikely partnership’ that sealed an infrastructure win (Politico 8/10)

  • “Moments before he blessed their bipartisan infrastructure agreement, President Joe Biden made a critical promise to five GOP senators he’d gathered in the Oval Office. On that sunny June afternoon, sitting with the five Republicans and their five Democratic negotiating partners, Biden assured them that he wouldn’t endorse their deal and then later attach new physical infrastructure they didn’t agree on to another bill. Referring to the legislative brute force his party wields thanks to its full control of Washington, the president told the GOP senators in the room: ‘I won’t add something back in reconciliation that you guys didn’t do.’ Without Biden’s pledge not to pull a fast one, said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), ‘we probably would be dead in the water.’ ‘We would not have gotten the support of our colleagues, including Mitch McConnell,’ Romney said. ‘If we had the extensive negotiations and agreed on a number, and then he just came back and doubled the number? … Why, it would have made the whole process irrelevant.’ And Biden’s promise will be tested in the weeks ahead as Democrats negotiate that larger spending bill: It’s set to include money for transportation and infrastructure that the party could, in theory, use to build on the bipartisan group’s work.” 

U.S. Senate Democrats push ahead two-track infrastructure votes (Reuters 8/9

  • “The U.S. Senate was poised to pass a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that is one of President Joe Biden’s top priorities in the early hours of Tuesday morning, with Democrats vowing to follow up with a much larger $3.5 trillion bill. The first details of the larger bill — a key goal for progressive Democrats — showed that it would provide tax incentives for ‘clean’ manufacturing, make community college free for two years and provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrant workers.”

Democrats release sprawling budget plan as Senate moves to pass bipartisan infrastructure bill (CNBC 8/9)

  • “As the Senate was putting the finishing touches on a bipartisan infrastructure bill Monday, Democrats released their $3.5 trillion budget plan that sets the stage for a massive investment in social programs and climate policy. The plans fit into what Democrats consider a complementary, two-part agenda to boost the economy, strengthen the social safety net and attempt to curb climate change. The party will have to carry out a complicated legislative dance to get both proposals through Congress in the coming months. First, the Senate could pass the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill as early as Tuesday morning. The plan, which calls for $550 billion in new spending on transportation, utilities and broadband, is expected to get through the chamber with Democratic and Republican support.”

Senators Reach Bipartisan Crypto Deal Amid Vote Uncertainty (BGOV 8/9)

  • “A bipartisan group of senators struck a compromise on a cryptocurrency reporting requirement in the $550 billion infrastructure bill with backing from the Biden administration, but it’s not yet clear it will get a vote. The Senate hasn’t been able to agree on amending the legislation, which would require consent of all 100 senators. If they don’t do so on Monday the bill would retain the original language dealing with cryptocurrency that has been strongly opposed by the industry and investors. Democratic Senators Mark Warner and Kyrsten Sinema teamed up with Republican Senators Cynthia Lummis, Pat Toomey and Rob Portman to strike the deal.”

Infrastructure Senators Brush Off Criticism From Left, Right (BGOV 8/9)

  • “The often-elusive political center is holding steady in the Senate with a strong coalition of Democrats and Republicans brushing off critics to push the $1 trillion infrastructure package toward passage. Final votes are expected Tuesday. On the left, the Democrats have withstood the complaints of liberals who say the proposal falls short of what’s needed to provide a down payment on one of President Joe Biden’s top priorities. From the right, the Republicans are largely ignoring the criticism from their most conservative and far-flung voices, including a barrage of name-calling from former President Donald Trump as he tries to derail the package.” 

Senators reach bipartisan deal on cryptocurrency amendment (The Hill 8/9)

  • “Republican Sens. Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.) said an amendment to the infrastructure bill that would redefine who falls subject to cryptocurrency regulation requirements will be brought for a unanimous consent vote on Monday afternoon after a group of bipartisan senators and the Treasury Department came to an agreement. The amendment, which will be co-sponsored by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), seeks to amend the definition of a ‘broker’ in the underlying infrastructure bill in a way that would keep software developers and transaction validators from being subject to the new reporting requirements. Notably, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who was a leading force in the charge to amend the definition, is not sponsoring the amendment. Wyden signaled he would not oppose the amendment, tweeting that it is ‘certainly better than the underlying bill.’”

As Senate Vote Nears for $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill, Deficit Takes a Back Seat (NYT 8/6)

  • “The bipartisan shrug that greeted the news that the Senate’s infrastructure bill contains $256 billion worth of deficit spending marked a new moment in the post-Trump era, one that highlighted how deficits matter only situationally to Republicans and inflation fears ebb and flow, depending on the politics of the issue. With a key test vote on the infrastructure measure expected around noon on Saturday, the Republican Party’s blasé attitude toward deficits will last only a matter of days. By early next week, with the bill likely passed, Democratic leaders will have to decide how to deal with a looming crisis: the approaching statutory limit on how much the Treasury can borrow to finance the government’s debt.” 

White House Chooses Sides In Showdown Over Competing Infrastructure Bill Crypto Amendments (Forbes 8/6)

  • “Earlier this week Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) proposed an amendment to the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure deal which offers a revised tax-reporting requirement for cryptocurrency and digital-asset transactions that would exclude non-custodial actors like miners and software developers from covered by the revised broker definition. Such a designation would free them from the obligation of providing 1099 tax forms, which in many cases would be impossible to comply with given the pseudonymous nature of blockchain transactions. For a complete breakdown of the issues surrounding the crypto provision in the infrastructure bill please see my in-depth report.”

 

PAY-FORS

Crypto, Auto Safety Loom as Infrastructure Flashpoints in House (Bloomberg Tax 8/12)

  • “The Senate’s $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure legislation faces an uphill battle in the House, where cryptocurrency, chemicals and transportation lobbyists, and advocates are jockeying to alter it to benefit their industries.

The Senate’s 69-30 vote Tuesday to pass the measure marked a major step forward for President Joe Biden’s economic agenda and shifts the burden to House Democrats who hold a narrow majority and don’t all agree on the next steps.”

Infrastructure Package Includes Vehicle Mileage Tax Program (Forbes 8/11)

  • “The new $1 trillion infrastructure package will include a vehicle mileage tax program. The U.S. Senate passed President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill with bipartisan support from 19 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Buried in the 2,700 page infrastructure package is a pilot program for a vehicle mileage tax. Here’s how it works and what it could mean for your wallet. A vehicle mileage tax, or vehicle miles traveled fee, would charge motorists a fee based on how many miles they drive.”

Which Industries Stand to Gain From the $1.2T Infrastructure Bill—and Which Stand to Lose (Time 8/11)

  • “The Senate on Tuesday approved a $1.2 trillion proposal to improve the nation’s aging infrastructure, offering hope of a historic boost to several industries that stand to benefit from increased funding and regulations. While the bill must still clear the House, where it faces a rocky path over the next few weeks, the Senate outcome marks a major step forward in President Joe Biden’s economic agenda as the nation recovers from labor constraints and financial losses due to the pandemic.”

Senate OKs infrastructure bill; fate in House tied to bigger budget bill (Roll Call 8/10)

  • “Months of back-and-forth negotiations, squabbles over pay-fors and Zoom calls culminated in a long-expected, much-delayed Senate vote Tuesday to pass a sweeping bipartisan infrastructure package. The bill passed 69-30, a margin that demonstrated its popularity in the evenly divided chamber. All 50 Democrats voted for final passage, as did 19 Republicans. Mike Rounds, a South Dakota Republican, did not vote. The legislation includes $550 billion in new spending and reauthorizes highway and water programs, among other provisions. It would inject federal cash into roads, bridges, water systems, broadband, rail and transit, among other things.”

Senate passes $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package (Axios 8/10)

  • “Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of Senate GOP leadership, cited the CBO score and lack of pay-fors for his ‘no’ vote. Asked why he thinks McConnell voted for it, Cornyn told Axios: ‘My guess is it was important to him to show that the Senate can actually function on a bipartisan basis.’” 

Senate Avoids Solutions on Highway Funding With Another Bailout (Bloomberg Law 8/10)

  • “But the legislation (H.R. 3684) does nothing to change the rate of the gasoline tax—the main source of federal money for highways and transit—which hasn’t increased since 1993. Instead, it creates pilot programs and studies to determine future options.

‘I believe there so far have been some missed opportunities, one being reform to the Highway Trust Fund itself,’ Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said on the Senate floor last week. ‘The current state of the Highway Trust Fund is unsustainable and unless something changes we’re going to be in dire straits—even more dire in just a few years.’” 

 

STATE & LOCAL

Proposed bill would penalize NYC for congestion pricing plan (Associated Press 8/12)

  • “Two New Jersey congressmen fired the latest volley Wednesday in the brewing battle over New York City’s plan to charge a fee to enter the city’s center, announcing legislation that seeks to cut off some federal grants to the city if New Jersey motorists wind up on the hook. The legislation announced by Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer addresses New York’s plan to become the first city in the U.S. to implement what is known as congestion pricing, an additional toll aimed at reducing gridlock in midtown Manhattan and funding improvements to the city’s bus and subway systems.”

Council members divided on Moab property tax: Proposed tax tabled ahead of Aug. 31 deadline (Moab Sun News 8/12)

  • “At their regular meeting on August 10, the Moab City Council further discussed a property tax. The motion to implement a tax was tabled, but not before council members expressed their opinions and potential votes on the tax. The Moab City Council has been seriously discussing a property tax since May, and must vote on whether or not to implement a tax by August 31. The council has been presented with five budget scenarios, generating between $0 and $3.3 million in tax revenue. The proposal is that the revenue be used for three things: infrastructure projects, such as sewer, water, and road projects; increasing police department staffing; and raising the city’s reserve funds.”

Waco to boost street upgrade program to $21 million in 2021-22 (Waco Tribune 8/11)

  • “The Waco City Council is aiming to spend $4 million more this year on street improvements as part of a long-term strategy to bring Waco’s pavement up to par. The proposed capital improvement plan in the 2021-22 budget calls for raising street funding, not counting pothole repair, from $17 million to $21 million. The budget is set to be approved Sept. 21. The city tentatively plans to spend $152 million over the next four years in an effort to raise the overall score on Waco’s Pavement Condition Index, which since 2015 has been used to assess its street network on a scale from zero to 100.”

Mayor’s office announces 18-person steering committee for $2M North Nashville budget (Tennessean 8/11)

  • “The Nashville’s Office of Economic and Community Development on Tuesday announced the members of an 18-person steering committee that will oversee a participatory budget funding North Nashville infrastructure improvements. Projects must fall within a defined boundary within North Nashville and Bordeaux to be eligible. Projects must also meet the following requirements: Provide primary benefit for the public at-large; provide a tangible, permanent benefit that allows for broad public access; designed to accomplish goals and fulfill purpose without further funding past the initial investment; are capital infrastructure, capital improvement or durable projects; $50,000 or higher with a lifespan of at least 10 years.”

August 11 Board of Public Works Meeting: Here’s What Counties Need to Know (Conduit Street 8/11)

  • “The Board of Public Works (BPW) — a three-member panel including Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and State Treasurer Nancy Kopp — reviews projects, contracts, and expenditure plans for state agencies, many of which have an effect on county governments. As is always the case with Maryland’s tax-exempt general obligation bonds, the State will use the proceeds to finance important capital projects and improvements, such as public schools, community colleges, university projects, and hospitals.”

Jackson’s pothole war: The dilemma, disparities and key to recoup vehicle damages (WLBT 8/11)

  • “Jackson is primarily responsible for maintaining its roads, not Mississippi Department of Transportation, nor the state legislature. Jackson has spent more money than ever in the last few years, but multiple water main breaks, sewer connection failures, and 100-year-old pipes that consistently fail, depleting those funds before they hit the bank.”

Cassville completing summer projects (Cassville Democrat 8/11)

  • “The summertime weather offers a great opportunity to complete many projects without running the risk of severe rain or cold interrupting, and the city of Cassville started the year with a list of such projects, now seeing some come into completion. David Brock, Cassville public works director, said the capital projects for the summer of 2021 are moving along. Aquatic Center resurfacing is substantially complete, with minor tile work and painting to occur after the season ends. In the second half of August, the city will be paving the South Park trail. The preparatory work is currently underway.”

Rayne City Council Announces Start Of New City-Wide Projects (Crowley Post Signal 8/11)

  • “Holding special interest in Monday evening’s City Council meeting was the start of three anticipated city-wide projects that have been in the making for years. Not one, but three projects are seeing start dates planned this week (weather permitting), including the new Martin Luther King Center, new Rayne Volunteer North Fire Station and Phase II Adams Avenue Sidewalk Project.”

“Now is the time to act.” Takeaways from Mayor Joe Hogsett’s 2021 state of the city speech (Indy Star 8/10)

  • “Indianapolis stands on the brink of transformative change that requires bipartisan cooperation, Mayor Joe Hogsett told councilors Monday during his state of the city briefing. The annual address was markedly different from others, coming at a critical time for the city: right as Indianapolis begins to spend $419 million in federal funding.”

NC House budget spends more on construction, pay than Senate (Kansas City Star 8/10)

  • “The House spending plan, the subject of a Monday news conference by GOP leaders, would not go as far on cutting income tax rates as Republican senators advanced in their competing budget bill. Instead, the House would give COVID-19 tax breaks to those who got a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan or received unemployment benefits last year. ‘It’s a pretty amazing opportunity for this state, when you look at what we’re investing in,’ Rep. Jason Saine, a Lincoln County Republican and senior budget writer told reporters. ‘This budget shows a very forward-looking future for North Carolina, for our citizens and particularly for our children.’”

Boise considers $100 million plan to make State Street a place where people want to live (Idaho Statesman 8/10)

  • “Boise just took a key step toward sprucing up State Street, a busy commuter route that leaders hope will become a mecca for multifamily housing and transit. Board members of the Capital City Development Corp., Boise’s urban renewal agency, approved plans for the creation of a State Street urban renewal district on Monday and directed the staff to submit it to the City Council for review. After years of discussions, the decision marks one of the first concrete steps toward the redevelopment of the historic roadway.”

Norristown Approves $5.5M For Playgrounds, Infrastructure (Patch 8/9

  • “Norristown has approved several early projects, totaling $5.5 million, to be funded with its federal American Rescue Plan Act money. Norristown received a total of $20 million in economic stimulus money from the federal government to assist in its recovery from the pandemic. Municipal Council voted last week to approve the spending, which includes significant money for local parks, as well as infrastructure improvements.”

Delaware County moves ahead with health department (Delco Times 8/9

  • “Delaware County approved more than $8.7 million of expenditures for the setup of the county health department, which continues to be on track for a January 2022 opening. At last Wednesday’s county council meeting, council unanimously approved $4.8 million from American Rescue Plan monies for salaries, materials, supplies and the hiring of a consultant for hiring staff and $3.9 million from Capital Improvement Plan modifications for design, build out, vehicle purchases and IT and real estate costs for the department establishment.”

Virginia lawmakers strike deal on spending COVID-19 funds (Fairfield Citizen 8/6)

  • “Virginia lawmakers tasked with reconciling House and Senate spending plans for $4.3 billion in federal coronavirus relief money reached an agreement Friday on a proposal that would preserve most of a plan crafted by Democrats but would also include some changes proposed by Republicans, including raising bonuses for sheriffs’ deputies and regional jail officers from $1,000 to $3,000. The committee also agreed to keep an amendment proposed by Hanger that will extend a 12.5% Medicaid rate increase for providers of services to people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.”