Nov 8th 2017 | Posted in Federal by Kristin Gordon

This is the time of year when bond proposals are voted on by residents so cities and towns can take on improvement projects. But new laws might be enacted in 2018 that could take some of the attraction away from bonds. Last week, a draft, called Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1, released by the House Ways and Means Committee, comes with provisions that, […]

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Jul 26th 2017 | Posted in Federal by Kristin Gordon

In 2015, the National Park Service (NPS) reached a record-high of $11.9 billion in deferred maintenance, which NPS defines as “maintenance that was not performed at the required intervals to ensure an acceptable facility condition to support the expected life cycle of an asset.” Around $5.97 billion of the deferred maintenance is for paved roads and […]

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Jun 30th 2017 | Posted in Federal by Kristin Gordon

This week Senate lawmakers called for total defense spending in fiscal 2018, which begins Oct. 1, of $700 billion. A total of $696.5 billion was proposed by the House committee Monday, which was approved by the House Appropriations Committee Thursday. The Senate committee’s summary of the bill stated that it backed a $640 billion base budget for the Defense Department and the national security programs […]

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Jan 28th 2015 | Posted in Federal, Opportunities by Mary Scott Nabers
Logo for HUD, which announced $1.8 billion in funding for housing grants.
U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development logo

Something significant happened this week. U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro announced $1.8 billion in funding for housing grants. The money will begin flowing to cities to provide assistance to approximately 8,400 homeless individuals. HUD is also funding 25 other new projects to provide permanent housing for individuals and families in areas […]

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Jan 21st 2015 | Posted in Federal, Infrastructure, P3/PPP, Water by Government Contracting Pipeline

A new municipal bond geared toward increasing municipalities’ access to public funds for much-needed infrastructure projects is part of President Barack Obama’s initiative to find alternative financing tools to ensure adequate investment in the nation’s infrastructure. The proposed Qualified Public Infrastructure Bonds (QPIBs) would allow municipalities seeking to enter into public-private partnerships (P3s) to take […]

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Dec 12th 2014 | Posted in Federal, State by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

Immediately before and after the Great Recession, states were flush with government funding as federal money was allocated to stimulate a rapidly declining economy nationwide. Much of that funding, particularly in the form of grants, has since been dramatically curtailed. States have had to scramble to find ways to fund existing programs for the last […]

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Dec 5th 2014 | Posted in Federal, Mary Scott Nabers' Insights, P3/PPP, Trends by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

At a time when budgets are stretched thin, funding for social programs is available to local governmental entities through a new and innovative program. The new funding comes from a Social Innovation Fund and monetary awards are based on successful accomplishment of pre-determined social outcomes. According to a report from the Social Innovation Research Center, […]

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Nov 21st 2014 | Posted in Federal, Infrastructure, Opportunities by Texas Government Insider
Port of Brownsville Logo

A plan has been approved that calls for the deepening of the Port of Brownsville by 10 feet. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chief of Engineers Thomas Bostick recommended the project in a report to the Secretary of the Army. Bostick said the deepening of the port would lead to increased commercial navigation in South […]

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Nov 19th 2014 | Posted in Federal, P3/PPP by Government Contracting Pipeline
NPS logo

“This is not just a success story about preserving our cultural heritage, whose stories are told at these five national parks, it is also a testament about partnership and what we can accomplish by bringing together public and private interests towards a great purpose,” said Acting National Park Service (NPS) Superintendent Clay Jordan. Jordan was […]

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Nov 19th 2014 | Posted in Federal, Public Safety, State by Mary Scott Nabers
Photo by Jim Greenhill is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Border safety is among the hottest, most controversial issues of our time. Politicians and elected officials cannot agree on what to do, so there is no consistency and almost no collaboration in current efforts to protect and secure United States borders. A solution has been elusive and there is definitely a lack of collaboration on […]

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Nov 18th 2014 | Posted in Federal, Legislation/Policy by Jeff Pickering
U.S. Small Business Administration logo

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report of great interest to all Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB). More than a decade ago, Congress authorized procurement set-asides in an effort to increase business for historically underutilized WOSBs. According to the GAO report, the Small Business Administration (SBA) discovered in 2012 and 2013 that more than […]

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Nov 13th 2014 | Posted in Federal, Infrastructure, P3/PPP, Transportation by Mary Scott Nabers
AAPA logo

“You are the best-kept secret in the world,” Vice President Joe Biden told more than 500 of the nation’s port officials and executives in Houston recently. Biden delivered the keynote address for the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) annual convention, hosted by the Port Authority of Houston. The Vice President is traveling the country […]

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Nov 12th 2014 | Posted in Federal, P3/PPP, Trends by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

It is extremely difficult for most people to become United States citizens or to stay in the country for long periods of time. Visas are hard to come by and difficult to keep. However, coming to America is not all that big a problem for wealthy families from foreign countries. A 1990 law that authorized the EB-5 program […]

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Oct 31st 2014 | Posted in Federal, Infrastructure, Transportation, Water by Gay Erwin
Photo from Port of Houston Authority

Often overlooked economic drivers in the United States are the nation’s more than 300 ports. These ports create more than 13 million jobs and generate more than $200 billion annually in federal, state and local taxes. Recently released August figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) show that ships rank third among all five […]

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Oct 3rd 2014 | Posted in Education, Federal, News by Texas Government Insider

Richland College, TSTC-Waco will teach skills, partner workers with business In response to the growing need for skilled workers in high-demand technical jobs, technical colleges and community colleges are being asked to train American workers in those skills and connect them with businesses seeking skilled workers. To accelerate this training, the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community […]

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Sep 17th 2014 | Posted in Federal, P3/PPP, Trends by Government Contracting Pipeline
Photo by Kevin Dooley is licenced under CC BY 2.0

There is “tremendous and growing interest in public-private partnerships” in the United States, according to Congressman John Duncan, and more and more government projects nationwide are expected to employ this financial tool in the near future. Duncan, who chairs the Congressional Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Panel on Public-Private Partnerships (P3s), says, however, that P3s are not a panacea and large-scale infrastructure projects will continue to require major public investments.

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Aug 6th 2014 | Posted in Federal by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

Disasters are big business in America.  When there is a tornado, a destructive fire, an explosion or any type of significant emergency situation, all types of goods and services are needed quickly. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stockpiles large amounts of supplies in preparation for disasters. And, because this is what is considered the […]

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Jun 25th 2014 | Posted in Federal by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

When public officials make budget cuts, planning dollars are often an immediate target.  Understandably, it is easier to pass over programs that are not critical at the moment, but the decision to forgo planning – especially if it involves emergency management – is usually not a wise decision. Flooded subway tunnels, piles of rubble in […]

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Jun 17th 2014 | Posted in Federal by Mary Scott Nabers
Photo by Paul Morris is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Government has been slow to adopt leading-edge technology, and many citizens are complaining loudly. As taxpayers, they don’t understand why public officials can’t manage like private-sector firms. Americans are accustomed to quick and convenient information and interaction from businesses and they want and expect the same from government. When they don’t get it, frustration is rampant.

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Mar 12th 2014 | Posted in Federal, Transportation by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

Momentum for high-speed rail in America is building at a rapid pace.  Public officials in almost every large state have either initiated rail projects or are considering them. This transportation option was once considered too costly and too fraught with obstacles. Some believed high-speed rail would never be a reality in America. Others, however, argued […]

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Feb 26th 2014 | Posted in Federal by Mary Scott Nabers
Photo by Bahman Farzad is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Congressman David Camp’s proposal to eliminate the tax exemption for Private Activity Bonds (PABs) is seeing opposition line up against it. These bonds have historically been responsible for providing financing for much-needed new hospitals, energy facilities, airports, colleges, housing, prisons and thousands of other public and private projects. The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) […]

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Feb 26th 2014 | Posted in Federal by Mary Scott Nabers
SPI President & CEO Mary Scott Nabers

Money that once flowed from the federal government to states has diminished significantly. In 2013, states faced more than $85 billion in cuts from federal grant programs. That includes $37.8 billion in education grants, $32.5 billion in social services, $3.5 billion in community development and $3.6 billion in employment and job training, according to research […]

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