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Sorting fact from fiction with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

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Thursday is poised to be a pivotal day for the roadway safety infrastructure industry with the House of Representatives expected to vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and with the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act set to expire at midnight.

Given the significance to its members, ATSSA’s Government Relations Team evaluated key concerns being raised about the IIJA’s provisions.

ATSSA’s team analyzed the IIJA ahead of the Senate's bipartisan passage of the IIJA and provided a detailed breakdown of key aspects.

Today, ATSSA provides a fact-versus-fiction analysis of issues commonly raised about the IIJA.

 

House sets date for final infrastructure vote

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The House of Representatives is expected to vote Thursday on the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

Originally, a vote had been expected as early as today. However, on Sunday evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would begin debate on IIJA today and then vote on Thursday.

The current surface transportation authorization is set to expire on Thursday, meaning the House must pass the infrastructure package or a short-term extension of the Fixing America’s Surface Transporation (FAST) Act, or face the Highway Trust Fund going insolvent.

ATSSA reaches out to DOTs again as raw materials challenges increase

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter this afternoon to the directors of every state department of transportation (DOT) to update them on the ongoing challenges facing members of the roadway safety infrastructure industry due to a shortfall in material supplies.

The latest resource severely cut was oxygen, which is needed to make glass beads that are used in pavement marking applications.

“Our members’ supply of oxygen has been cut by 70% in some areas and 100% in others because of the significant escalation of hospitalizations due to the spread of COVID-19 variants and the national trend of oxygen producers realigning the supply of oxygen from industrial customers to critical medical needs to combat the national pandemic,” Tetschner said in today’s letter.

Preliminary estimates for first half of 2021 show motor vehicle deaths up again this year

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Preliminary estimates for motor vehicle fatalities for the first six months of 2021 are up 16% over the same period in 2020, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported this morning.

The estimate for the first six months of 2021 is also 17% higher than the 2019 figures, according to NSC, which tracks that and other data on injuries.

The group noted that mileage for the first half of 2021 was up 13% over the low point in 2020 due to COVID-19. However, this year’s mileage was still almost 6% below travel mileage in 2019.

Explore the action and insights from ATSSA’s Midyear Meeting

Check out photos plus video highlights of general session

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ATSSA’s Midyear Meeting provided bountiful opportunities to reconnect, explore solutions to roadway safety infrastructure challenges, socialize over pickleball and hear from automotive industry experts.

If you missed it or want to revisit the experience, we’ve posted dozens of photos and you can watch highlights of the general session featuring Tony Reinhart, Ford Motor Company’s director of Government Relations, and Brad Stertz, director of Audi Government Affairs and co-founder and chairman of Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE).

ATSSA’s next big event is the 52nd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo in Tampa, Fla., Feb. 11-15.

Midyear Meeting general session explores connected technology with Audi and Ford executives

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Executives with Ford and Audi emphasized the importance of collaboration among key stakeholders as connected and autonomous vehicle technology advances.

Tony Reinhart, director of Government Relations for Ford Motor Company, and Brad Stertz, director of Audi Government Affairs and co-founder and chairman of Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE), spoke at this morning’s general session at ATSSA’s Midyear Meeting, which runs through Friday.

After opening remarks, Reinhart and Stertz were joined by ATSSA Board Chair Greg Driskell and ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith for a panel that took questions from the group assembled in Kansas City, Mo., for the Midyear Meeting.

ATSSA’s 2021 Midyear Meeting gets underway in Missouri

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ATSSA’s 2021 Midyear Meeting kicks off this afternoon in Kansas City, Mo.

More than 300 people have registered for the event that runs through Friday and is being held in hybrid fashion with some attending in person at the Loews Kansas City Hotel and others taking part online.

The week includes the first meeting of the Roadway Worker Protection Council, which takes place Wednesday and evolved from a Roadway Worker Protection Summit held during this year’s Convention and Traffic Expo.

Senate passes bipartisan infrastructure package

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The Senate today passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The $1.2 trillion plan includes the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act (STRA) that passed through the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee earlier this year.

“ATSSA applauds the passage of this historic investment in roads, bridges and safety,” ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner said. “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will allow ATSSA members to undertake even more lifesaving work on America’s roadways. We are encouraged by the work done in a bipartisan manner in the Senate and strongly urge the House to follow their lead in implementing a robust, long-term and safety-focused infrastructure plan.”

The House will need to also pass the infrastructure plan for it to go into effect. However, members on both sides of the aisle have expressed a weariness toward the Senate version. It is unclear what the plan forward is on the legislation.

New federal rule for entry-level CDL training goes into effect in February

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New federal requirements for entry-level driver training for the commercial driver license (CDL) go into effect on Feb. 7.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations for entry-level driver training (ELDT) for CDL licenses were mandated under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21 Century Act (MAP-21).

ELDT regulations establish the baseline for training required for entry-level drivers. They apply to anyone:

  • seeking a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time
  • upgrading an existing Class B CDL to Class A CDL
  • obtaining a first-time school bus (S), passenger (P) or hazardous materials (H) endorsement.

Final action on a Senate infrastructure package could be a week away

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Senate action Wednesday night on a bipartisan infrastructure package starts the clock on the issue but a final vote on the Senate floor could be at least a week away.

The Senate voted 67-32 Wednesday night to proceed to debate on the bipartisan infrastructure package that has been agreed to by a group of 22 Republican and Democrat senators, known as the G-22. Seventeen Republican senators voted to advance the measure. The Biden administration also supported it.

If passed, the legislation would then head to the House, where members of both parties have expressed concerns with the package as constructed.

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