ATSSA Blog

2021 Convention general sessions will inspire, inform and entertain

Keynote speaker Chad Hymas will share lessons learned about adapting to change following an accident that left him a quadriplegic

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ATSSA’s 51st Annual Convention & Traffic Expo’s general sessions will inspire and inform, including insights from keynote speaker Chad Hymas, who was forced to rework everything in his life after a ranch accident left him a quadriplegic.

Hymas will share about his experience adapting to change and offer lessons on leadership, teamwork and customer service to employ in your workplace.

This year’s general sessions stretch over two days and are jampacked with valuable information including panels on the industry, innovation and government advocacy.

Congressional leaders find deal on COVID-19 relief and federal spending bills

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Leaders of the House and Senate agreed this afternoon to terms on a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package and a $1.4 trillion federal spending package, ending lengthy negotiations that had lasted for months. Included in the COVID relief legislation was $45 billion for transit, with $10 billion allocated to state departments of transportation for highways.

ATSSA has supported the inclusion of funds for state DOTs throughout the year and made it the main legislative priority in any discussions centered around COVID-19 relief. In addition to making it a main talking point at the ATSSA Virtual Fly-In & Legislative Briefing in September, ATSSA also signed on to multiple letters alongside fellow stakeholders to push for Congress to include these funds.

ATSSA urged CDC to include critical infrastructure workers in next COVID vaccination phase

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Despite urging by ATSSA to include road construction workers and the manufacturers of roadway safety devices and construction machinery in phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccination allocation process, a committee of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) denied the request.

Instead, after meeting on Sunday, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend that Americans who are 75 and older and who live independently be included in the next phase of vaccinations. They voted to place the group deemed as essential critical infrastructure in the following phase.

The committee cited the high death rates among elderly Americans, the current short-supply of the vaccine and the smaller size of the group as compared to the DHS-designated group as the reasons for the recommendation. Frontline workers such as emergency responders and teachers were also included in the next phase.  

Biden expected to choose Buttigieg as transportation secretary

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President-elect Joe Biden will be nominating former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), according to multiple reports.

Buttigieg, who is also the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., rose to national prominence after a surging presidential run in his bid for the Democratic nomination earlier this year. Buttigieg appears to have emerged from among contenders for the position such as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

During his presidential campaign, Buttigieg introduced an infrastructure plan that garnered support across the transportation industry.

Senate approves stopgap funding resolution

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Earlier this afternoon, the Senate voted to pass a stopgap Continuing Resolution (CR) that would keep the government funded through December 18 and avoid a potential government shutdown.

The CR now goes to the desk of President Trump, where he is expected to sign it.   Update:  President Trump signed the extension on Friday, Dec. 11.

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