Infrastructure Week 2016 Brings State Legislators to Washington, D.C. for the 6th Annual CSG Transportation Leaders Policy Academy

Next week (May 18-20), The Council of State Governments will host a group of 10 state legislators from around the country at the 6th Annual CSG Transportation Leaders Policy Academy in Washington, D.C. As part of the academy, attendees will take part in activities around Infrastructure Week, a national week of events, media coverage, and education and advocacy efforts to elevate infrastructure as a critical issue. I have more about the academy and Infrastructure Week below as well as details about another key event CSG is involved with happening next month.

Transportation Leaders Policy Academy

For the 6th year in a row, CSG will host a group of state legislators at the Transportation Leaders Policy Academy in Washington, D.C. The group of 10, selected in consultation with the CSG regions and event sponsors, includes two transportation committee chairs and two vice chairs. Three others serve as chair or vice chair of the powerful rules committee in their respective states and chambers. The attendees hail from the states of Alabama, Iowa, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas and Washington.

The group’s agenda for their three days in Washington includes visits to Capitol Hill and the U.S. Department of Transportation. They also will receive key briefings on such topics as the regulation of rideshare companies, autonomous vehicle technologies and transit-oriented development.

Continuing a successful, year-long collaboration with the Griffith Insurance Education Foundation, CSG will host a session for policy academy attendees entitled “Rideshare Companies: Insurance & Regulatory Issues for States.” Kim Staking of California State University, Sacramento, will discuss the landscape of rideshare legislation around the country and recent developments including Uber’s settlement of class action lawsuits in California and Massachusetts, the defeat of an Uber-backed proposition in Austin that would have allowed rideshare companies to use their own background check systems for drivers (and disallowed fingerprint checks), and Uber’s agreement with a prominent union to create an association for drivers in New York that could allow them to receive some limited benefits and protections despite still being considered “independent contractors” by the rideshare company. [By the way, I have an article in this month’s issue of CSG’s Capitol Ideas on the sharing economy that examines the issues surrounding the employee versus independent contractor designation, the challenges faced by workers in the sharing economy and efforts underway to provide some assistance to them].

On Thursday morning, May 19, policy academy attendees will participate in a transportation policy roundtable with a variety of transportation stakeholders and experts.

  • Brian Pallasch of the American Society of Civil Engineers will discuss ASCE’s latest report “Failure to Act: Closing the Infrastructure Investment Gap for America’s Economic Future,” which was just released this week. It updates previous reports from 2011 and 2012 and seeks to quantify how inadequate investment in our aging infrastructure impacts the economy, including GDP, jobs, personal disposable income, and business sales.
  • Dr. Alison Premo Black of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association will talk about the stories of states that have tackled transportation funding in recent years, including those detailed on the Transportation Investment Advocacy Center website, which she oversees. Alison was one of the presenters on our “States to Watch in 2016: Transportation Funding” eCademy webinar earlier this year.
  • Joung Lee of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) will provide an update on the status of federal transportation funding and what it means for states.
  • Ed Mortimer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will provide a business community perspective on the importance of transportation investment.
  • A panel discussion will close out the morning on the future of the federal-state-local partnership on transportation. Scheduled panelists include Joe McAndrew of Transportation for America, who was also a presenter on our “States to Watch in 2016: Transportation Funding” eCademy webinar earlier this year; Jeff Davis and Emil Frankel of the Eno Center for Transportation, who both participated in last year’s roundtable; and Brigham McCown of the Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure.

Thursday afternoon, CSG will join forces with other organizations including the National Association of Counties, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Governors Association, National League of Cities, the International City/County Management Association, the Government Finance Officers Association and AASHTO for a briefing on financing America’s infrastructure entitled #InfrastructureMatters to States and Local Governments. The briefing, for an audience of Congressional staffers and others, takes place in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee room at the Rayburn House Office Building. Matthew Chase of the National Association of Counties moderates the event and Washington State Rep. Judy Clibborn will present on behalf of CSG. Clibborn, who chairs the House Transportation Committee in Washington state, is the former co-chair of the CSG Transportation Public Policy Committee and now serves as chair of the CSG West Transportation & Economic Development Committee.  

On Friday, May 20, a panel discussion will bring the issue of transit-oriented development into focus for policy academy attendees. The panel will include Christopher Leinberger, the President of LOCUS, an organization representing real estate developers and investors. Leinberger, who is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a research professor at the George Washington University School of Business, was one of the speakers last year at a conference hosted by the Transit-Oriented Development Institute in Washington, which I wrote about in a Capitol Research brief and blog post earlier this year. Joining him will be Marco Li Mandri, an expert in the establishment of business improvement districts like the ones often found around transit hubs in a community (he’s in my Capitol Research brief as well). Angela Fox, who heads the business improvement district in Crystal City, Virginia, will talk about how she and her staff turned a concrete canyon of a place into a vibrant community with popular restaurants and regular activities for residents and commuters alike. And Michael Stevens, who heads the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, will talk about D.C.’s fastest growing neighborhood centered around the Navy Yard Metro stop and home to the Washington Nationals Baseball Park, the U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters building, The Yards Park, the Half Street Entertainment District and more. Following the panel discussion, Stevens will lead the group on a tour of the area.

The policy academy is made possible through the support of Global Automakers, Nissan and Toyota. Global Automakers will host attendees for a luncheon on May 19 that will include a discussion of autonomous vehicle technologies.

Infrastructure Week 2016

The Transportation Leaders Policy Academy takes place against the backdrop of Infrastructure Week, an annual week of events in Washington and around the country focused around the theme #InfrastructureMatters (also the Twitter hashtag for the week’s events). CSG is serving as an Infrastructure Week affiliate for the second year in a row.

Policy academy attendees will have the opportunity to join Infrastructure Week affiliates and partners, mayors, business executives, labor leaders and others as they meet with members of Congress on Infrastructure Advocacy Day, Wednesday May 18. They’ll attend a luncheon and press event featuring the Congressional co-chairs for Infrastructure Week—Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Rep. Garret Graves (R-Louisiana) and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-New York). Also expected to make remarks is Ed Rendell, co-chair of Building America’s Future and former Governor of Pennsylvania. And attendees will mingle with other Infrastructure Week participants at a reception that night hosted by the Infrastructure Week Steering Committee and the Value of Water Coalition at the Hall of the States.

Also as part of Infrastructure Week, CSG is opening up portions of the Transportation Policy Academy to a limited audience of individuals who may be in D.C. next week to attend other events. These include the transportation policy roundtable, Capitol Hill briefing and transit-oriented development panel and tour. To find out how to attend, see the full calendar of events on the Infrastructure Week website. Space is extremely limited.

InfraAmericas U.S. P3 Infrastructure Forum 2016

As I’ve mentioned previously, CSG this year is again serving as a supporting organization for the InfraAmericas U.S. P3 Infrastructure Forum 2016, which takes place June 15-16 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. The forum, which focuses on the state of the industry around public-private partnerships for transportation and other sectors, brings together state and federal public officials with infrastructure developers, investors, financiers and regional transportation authorities. The full agenda for the conference has just been announced. Panels during the conference will focus on:

  • The state of the U.S. P3 market: What does the last 12 months say about the pipeline for future P3 deals?
  • How state departments of transportation are preparing for the next generation of P3s: With so few deals in the market, how are procurement bodies actualizing early-stage projects?
  • Social Infrastructure P3s: What are the barriers to new social infrastructure projects? Can social infrastructure P3s sustain a market hungry for new projects or will the pipeline continue to be slim?
  • Water Infrastructure: What issues have prevented a more robust pipeline of P3 procurement for the construction and development of this critical area of infrastructure?
  • Financing: A look at the current climate associated with equity financing. How are equity retention strategies evolving?
  • Airports: Is the pipeline for full privatization limited to small or mid-range airports or is there potential for projects at congested hubs such as O’Hare International, Dallas-Fort Worth and Hartsfield International Airport?
  • Rail: Can the success of light rail procurements in Canada be replicated in the United States? How can the public and private sectors cooperate in order to realize large high-speed rail projects?
  • Value for Money: Can P3’s still give states value for money?

Among the speakers already confirmed for the forum who have a connection to state, local or federal government:

  • Mitch Daniels, President of Purdue University and former governor of Indiana: He’ll deliver a keynote address on “Putting P3s to Work at American Universities.”
  • Shailen Bhatt, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Transportation
  • Russell Zapalac, Former Chief Planning & Project Officer at the Texas Department of Transportation
  • Samuel Franco, P3 Director at the Texas Facilities Commission
  • Gail Lewis, Director of the Office of P3 Initiatives & International Affairs at the Arizona Department of Transportation
  • Seth Miller Gabriel, Director of the Washington, D.C. Office of Public-Private Partnerships
  • Duane Callender, Director of the TIFIA Credit program at the Federal Highway Administration
  • Thomas Halloran, Project Manager for Public Private Partnerships at the Maryland Department of Transportation
  • Joshua Schank, Chief Innovation Officer at LA Metro
  • Jeffrey Ensor, Director of Project Delivery & Finance at the Maryland Transit Administration
  • Andrew Curtis Right, Executive Director of the Build America Transportation Investment Center (BATIC)
  • Doug Koelemay, Director of the Virginia Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships
  • Joseph P. Pavona, Special Advisor for Public Private Partnerships at the Michigan Office for Public-Private Partnerships
  • Bryan Kendro, Vice President of Project Development at Star America Infrastructure Partners (and former head of Pennsylvania’s P3 Office)
  • David Spector, Director of the Colorado High Performance Transportation Enterprise
  • State Rep. Leslie Combs (D-Kentucky), sponsor of Kentucky’s recently approved P3 legislation.

You can download the agenda now via this link and register to attend the conference here. And for more of an idea of what to expect, check out my coverage of last year’s event.