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NECA Legislative Top Three 3/1/19: Building Better Schools

Mar 1, 2019

1. Legislation Introduced to Provide Funding for Improving Infrastructure in Schools

In January of this year, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA), along with Senator Jack Reed, reintroduced the Rebuilding America’s Schools act of 2019 (H.R. 865 and S. 266 respectively). This legislation, which successfully passed through the House Education and Labor Committee, seeks to provide adequate funding for the deteriorating infrastructure of our nation’s public schools. Messaging surrounding the legislation states that our nation’s schools hold a $46 billion shortfall in annual public school infrastructure funding.

NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA supports this legislation and commends the bill’s 186 cosponsors who seek to address a historic lack of spending in our nation’s education infrastructure. In addition, we urge the House and Senate to pass this legislation with its support for prevailing wage requirements.

2. Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Holds Hearing on Climate Change

On February 26, 2019, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Chaired by Salud Carbajal (D-CA) & Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) held a hearing entitled, Examining How Federal Infrastructure Policy Could Help Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change.

NECA’s Look Ahead: Although this hearing was not intended to debate theGreen New Deal, it was a topic of discussion. The hearing focused on how to approach infrastructure investment in order to prevent and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The first panel discussed a range of issues related to reducing emissions in the transportation sector. The discussion reflected a greater appreciation of the growing use and potential for more use of electricity as a transportation fuel. The second panel discussion centered on the proper infrastructure development practices that can allow the country to improve the resiliency of infrastructure and reduce emissions with new infrastructure without causing new environmental damage.

3. Council of Economic Advisors Issues Annual Report

The U.S. economy grew at a rapid rate of 3.1 percent for FY 2018, the fastest pace for any calendar year since 2005, with output rising by $560 billion over the four quarters of the year.

NECA’s Look Ahead:This impressive economic performance was not merely a continuation of trends already underway during the preceding expansion, but rather a marked acceleration of economic activity and in large part to the passage of the NECA-supported Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.