Government Contracting Pipeline
Volume 7, Issue 7May 20, 2015
What will Congress do next? Time is running out 
and the world is watching! 
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Mary Scott Nabers

The Highway Trust Fund, set to expire at the end of May, has motivated people throughout the country to reach out to members of Congress. The buzz in the media has been extensive and passion is rampant. Hundreds of people have been working Congress - many for months and even years. Regional coalitions, associations, elected officials, industry executives and taxpayers have all been to Capitol Hill to advocate for funding a long-term infrastructure funding bill. 


The House of Representatives Tuesday voted on a two-month funding extension that will fund the Highway Trust fund through the end of July. The bill now goes to the Senate.




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Could infrastructure bank be key to transportation funding?


Nebraska senator says bill will provide long-term solution without gas tax hike

Highway Construction Another attempt at creating a national infrastructure bank has come in the form of legislation filed by U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (pictured) of Nebraska. The "Build USA Act" would create an infrastructure bank for states to apply to for low-interest loans for a variety of infrastructure projects. But, this legislation has a few tradeoffs involved.

Recognizing that the nation's transportation infrastructure needs funding for repairs and expansion, Fischer noted, "It is time to think outside the box and offer bold solutions that will stop this cycle and provide states with the flexibility to start rebuilding our core infrastructure."

The U.S. House Tuesday voted to extend the current surface transportation program, which was set to expire May 31, until the end of July. The program provides federal funding for state and local infrastructure projects through the Deb Fischer Highway Trust Fund. The bill now goes to the Senate. Some say those in Congress are once again looking at a short-term, stop-gap measure that will do little to remove the uncertainty that has prevented local and state governments from investing in much-needed road and bridge projects. In Congress, members are at odds on how to pay for a long-term bill. However, the House also Tuesday filed the GROW AMERICA Act, a long-term solution whose fate is yet to be decided.

One solution that is under consideration is an increase in the gas tax. The tax has not been increased since 1993 and has been the mainstay for funding the Highway Trust Fund. However, there is opposition in Congress as well as among constituents. Fischer said her bill that would create an infrastructure bank would do more to solve the funding shortage than a gas tax increase.

"My bill adheres to three important points: reduce regulatory burdens, redirect funding and provide states with more authority to manage their highways and bridges," she said. 

Fischer's proposal for an American Infrastructure Bank (AIB) would allow states to enter into three-year agreements with the AIB. They would be able to remit no less than 60 percent of the total amount of funds received from the federal government for federal-aid highway activities in each of the three years of the contract, apply for a transportation project loan through the AIB or both. Not only would states receive 90 percent of the remitted money for core infrastructure projects, but they also would be given authority and oversight for compliance with many of the federal regulations and requirements that would accompany the funds. Only core infrastructure projects would be eligible under agreements and loans through the AIB.

It's a different take on establishing a different kind of infrastructure bank, but it has been successful in Nebraska, according to Fischer. "Nebraska has gained successful results with this model and it's time to bring best practices from our states to the national discussion. By letting our states manage these projects, we can get America moving safely and securely for decades to come."

Report notes growth potential in public-sector contracting


Onvia industry snapshot, Nabers column point to uptick for remainder of 2015

Onvia After a long period of declining tax revenues nationwide that resulted in decreased contracting opportunities in the public sector, a new trend is emerging. And, it's good news for private-sector vendors seeking to do business with government. A recent market snapshot of contracting opportunities in state and local government and education shows a potential for growth in that market for 2015-16. 


The snapshot is produced by Onvia, a national company that provides business intelligence solutions to SPI Button private-sector vendors seeking to grow their government business. The report on the first quarter of 2015 also features a column by Mary Scott Nabers, president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., regarding how deferred spending and increasing revenues can mean increased contracting opportunities for the remainder of this year.

According to the Onvia report, although contracting activity in this market fell slightly in the first quarter of 2015, the decline in activity does not necessarily represent a decline in government spending. The growth figures are based on the volume of bids and requests for proposals (RFPs) and not on dollars spent. 

The report examines activity by industry, including IT/telecom, business services, architectural/engineering/construction and operations and maintenance/transportation. Opportunities were examined in each of the three levels of government - state, local and education. The report is available free for download


May 2015 Texas Bond Results

TIGER grant funding not likely to stretch very far

Department of Transportation expects 800 applicants for $500 million in funding

The $500 million in funding recently announced for the seventh round of allocations from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program aren't likely to go far. U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) officials say they are expecting up to 800 applications for a share of those funds.

During the last round of TIGER grant allocations, the federal government appropriated $600 million to be TIGER Grants shared by applicants. The two previous rounds were allocated $500 million each. These grants are competitively awarded and attention will be paid to their impact on the country, a region or metropolitan area.

The final applications for the current round of funding are due June 5. Since 2009, nearly 350 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have shared $4.1 billion from the TIGER program. With dwindling transportation funds at all levels of government, competition for the seventh round will be stiff. 

Last month, USDOT held a summit in Washington, D.C., to review past applications and successful projects. They also met with applicants to help them prepare to participate in the competitive grant process. More than 250 grant winners and potential applicants attended, while another 500 viewed via Webcast. "The purpose [of the summit] is to make sure that all applicants, especially those who may not have experience with federal programs, have the information and technical expertise they need," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  


Upcoming contracting opportunities

Historic bridge serving two states to be demolished, replaced

The New York-Pennsylvania Joint Interstate Bridge Commission has approved some $20 million in bridge work.  Chief among the projects is replacement of the Pond Eddy Bridge in Pike County, Pennsylvania. The bridge carries Route 1011 over the Delaware River into New York. The bridge, which dates back to 1904, is on the National Register of Historic Places, but when officials sought someone to take over the bridge, there were no responses. The cost of the demolition and replacement project is expected to be between $12.82 million and $15.5 million. Discussions about replacing the bridge have been ongoing for more than 10 years. The two-span bridge will remain open while a replacement is being built. Bids will be sought, with construction slated to begin next summer and a completion date of December 2017.


Connecticut to benefit from commission's OK of $337M in bonding

Dannel Malloy Education projects - both higher education and public education - will garner a significant amount of the $337.8 million in general obligation bonds approved recently by the Connecticut Bond Commission. Among the education projects that will be funded are $15 million to be spread among public school districts throughout the state, $36 million for improvements to the Sandy Hook Elementary School and $131.5 million to complete a technology park at the University of Connecticut. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (pictured) has indicated he plans to increase the state's borrowing this calendar year to $2.5 billion, which represents the most money the state has ever borrowed in a single year. Although Malloy indicated in the past that he would set a $1.8 billion bonding cap, that amount was exceeded by $170 million last year and is on its way to exceeding that amount this year. Malloy is unapologetic if the amount goes over his own bonding cap, citing many state needs - such as transportation - as why more money is needed. "We have a very large need to increase spending in transportation," said the governor. Malloy also noted there are numerous local school building constructions that should be funded. 


Iowa transportation program proposes $3.2 billion in spending in state

The 2016-2020 Iowa Transportation Improvement Program of the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) has been presented to the Iowa Transportation Commission (ITC), and it includes $3.2 billion in proposed highway right-of-way and construction projects. A meeting has been set for June 9, at which time the ITC will consider signing off on the proposal. Highway safety and attention to bridges are high up the list for funding in the plan. Of the $3.2 billion in proposed spending, $1.1 billion would be used for the needs of state-owned bridges and $1.3 billion would modernize and enhance highway safety. Included for spending in the future is the revenue that will result from the increase to 10 cents in the state's gas tax. All of IDOT's portion of that revenue will be dedicated to road and bridge projects. The state's plan will include pavement projects, structures, grading, right-of-way and a grab bag of issues such as lighting, erosion control and signage. In 2016 alone, more than $318 million will be spent on non-interstate work and more than $213 million will be for interstates. 


Airport commission to study new construction method for building terminal 

Steve Picou The Lafayette, Louisiana, Airport Commission is considering using a construction manager-at-risk (CMAR) method to build its $90 million passenger terminal. The airport commission's consultant said this method of construction could trim a full year off the completion time for the project. But, commissioners deferred acting on the proposal until a meeting at a later date. Airport Executive Director Steve Picou (pictured) said not taking action at the latest meeting would not delay the project. The commission can go ahead and seek proposals from design firms and decide what construction method to use at a later date. "We don't have to make that decision right now," he said. Picou said once design work begins, the commission can decide whether to use a CMAR or traditional contracting method. Lafayette Parish residents in December voted for a one-cent tax on each dollar spent on taxable goods in the parish. Some $35 million in estimated proceeds from the tax, which ends Nov. 30, will be spent on the new terminal, expansion of the parking area and other improvements. The remainder of the $90 million in costs will be paid for with state and federal airport grants and borrowing.

Bids will be sought for next portion of California high-speed rail

Bids will soon be sought from qualified contractors for design and construction of the third segment of California's high-speed rail. Two teams of construction companies have already been awarded contracts for segments one and two. Bidders are expected to have until mid-October to submit bids for what is expected to be a $400 million to $500 million project. A contract would then likely be awarded in November or December. This third segment contract would include installation of ballast and steel rails for the length of the rail route in the San Joaquin Valley from Madera to Bakersfield. The state already has some $6 billion in funding available for the project from federal stimulus funds, transportation funds and state high-speed rail bond money. The statewide system, which will connect San Francisco and Los Angeles, is expected to cost $68 billion, and the route through the Valley is the backbone of that system. These electric-powered trains are expected to begin carrying passengers by 2018. Another stage of the project will then extend the system to Sacramento and San Diego. The first segment of the line, from Merced into the San Fernando Valley, is expected to be completed and ready for use in 2022.


McKinney selects design for $11.8M downtown parking garage

Parking Garage McKinney, Texas, city officials recently selected a site and design for a new $11.8 million, six-level, downtown parking garage (as seen in accompanying artist's rendering). Designed to provide 413 parking spaces on six floors, the new parking garage will be located between Virginia and Louisiana streets. In addition to $3 million in bonds approved by voters in 2010 to help pay for the facility, city officials also plan to ask voters in November to approve an additional $10 million for the parking garage in what is shaping up to be a proposed $160.3 million bond proposal. City officials said that they expect to spend another six to eight months on planning and design. If voters approve the proposed bonds, the new downtown garage could be open for business in the early part of 2017, city officials said. 


All Aboard Florida express rail project to continue with or without bonds sought

In spite of a federal lawsuit, officials with All Aboard Florida's express passenger rail line say the project will move forward. The suit was filed by Indian River County to prohibit issuance of private activity bonds. All Aboard Florida officials say that the requested injunction would only serve to prevent use of $1.75 billion in tax-exempt private activity bonds, but taxable bonds and other alternative financing would see that the project is completed. They admit such action would make the project more expensive and take longer to complete, but it will go forward. The costs for the project already have increased from $2.6 billion to more than $2.9 billion. Meanwhile, the passenger service scheduled to begin in late 2016 between Miami and West Palm Beach has been delayed until early 2017. The private activity bonds would be purchased by private entities to help support the costs of the project. Because they are not backed by taxpayer funds, if the project is not completed, taxpayers are not on the hook for the funding.

Michigan lawmakers come up with alternate plan for transportation funding

Patrick Somerville In spite of failure of a ballot proposal related to transportation funding in Michigan in May, lawmakers are looking at a new plan to help repair and maintain Michigan roads. The proposal that failed would have cost taxpayers between $477 and $545 in additional taxes each year, including an increase in the fuel tax to 41.7 cents per gallon, along with other taxes. Members of the House Republican Party have announced a plan that would result in more than $1 billion per year for the next four years. "This is a no-nonsense plan that simplifies exactly what needs to be changed in order to reverse our crumbling infrastructure," said state Rep. Patrick Somerville (pictured).  He said this new plan takes into consideration the thoughts of the people and what type of plan would appeal to them. The plan focuses on four points that should ensure that the state's roads and bridges will be repaired and maintained. The plan relies on rededicated general fund dollars, re-prioritizing previously restricted funds, applying fuel taxes that are fair to all and ensuring the quality of road work once it is finished. Somerville said the plan is designed to ensure that deteriorating roads and bridges are not an issue again in the future. The plan is expected to go to committee and then to the House floor if kicked out of committee. Lawmakers are trying to fast-track the proposal. 


First seawater desalination rules approved by California regulators

With an expected increase in desalination projects in California as a result of drought conditions, California regulators recently adopted rules for permitting seawater desalination projects. With two major desal projects already being developed, developers of the projects say having rules in place better ensures regulatory approval. The rules, adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board, address building seawater treatment plants, expanding existing plants and renewing existing permits. While the permitting process remains with the state's regional water boards, the rules put in place establish the framework for all to follow. The rules do, however, allow for appeal of regional decisions if those opposed to the project feel the permit was incorrectly approved. Prior to adoption of these rules, developers and regulators of desal plants had nothing to follow for meeting both federal and state clean water standards. In an effort to protect marine life, the plan sets brine salinity limits and rules for the discharge being pumped back into the ocean.   


University of Texas System regents OK housing, parking garage, tennis courts

A previously discussed plan to spend $166.4 million for student housing, a parking garage and a tennis center was approved recently by The University of Texas System Board of Regents. The facilities will be built on land owned by the System on the east side of Interstate 35 in Austin. The construction will include a $62.4 million, 2,000-space parking garage, an $89 million student housing facility for graduate students and a $15 million, 12-court tennis center. 

Contracting Opportunities

Who's winning government contracts?


Check out these recent awards: 

  • Bombardier Transportation has been awarded a $180 million contract from the Chicago Department of Aviation for its portion of a project to upgrade the airport transit system automated people mover at O'Hare International Airport. 
  • Balfour Beatty Construction won a contract from Kern County, California, to design and construct a new $100.5 million, 215,000-square-foot addition to the Kern County Justice Facility in Bakersfield. The project scope includes the design and construction of housing and support facilities for 822 inmates, including a central plant for heating and cooling. 
  • Solon Development won a $22 million package of contracts from Pima County, Arizona, to buy solar power that is expected to save $4.5 million over 20 years. The 11 contracts will be to build, install and maintain solar-covered parking structures at several county facilities.
  • Hewlett-Packard was awarded a contract for up to $305 million by California's Welfare Client Data Systems consortium to continue its management of its welfare eligibility determination system.
  • Timberline Construction, Inc. was awarded a contract for nearly $14.8 million from the Omaha Public Power District for labor to construct the 45 miles of high voltage transmission kilovolt (kV) line to be located in Nebraska and will eventually run from a substation at OPPD's Nebraska City Station to a substation near Sibley, Missouri.
  • Beam Construction Co. won a $17.8 million contract from the Clover, South Carolina, school district to build an aquatic center in Lake Wylie. The project includes a base bid for the center plus a second floor and walking track, an outdoor 50-meter pool and a water park.
  • Dobco Inc. won a $19.6 million contract from the Edison Township Public Schools to build a new James Monroe Elementary School in Edison, New Jersey.
  • KapschTrafficCom North America has been awarded a $41 million contract by the Indiana Finance Authority to be the toll system provider for the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges. The project includes the installation, integration, operation and maintenance of an end-to-end open road toll collection system, as well as back office system and customer service center operation at the three bridges that will connect Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville, Indiana.
  • RK Culinary won a 10-year catering and concession contract worth approximately $255 million over the life of the contract from the city of San Antonio for the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. 
SPI Training Services

News about public-private partnerships (P3)

Kansas City making plans for P3 for new convention hotel

Plans are in the works for a proposed convention hotel in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, and a public-private partnership is being sought to facilitate its construction. The 800-room hotel will be financed with $35 million in city bond financing, convention-tax money and an investment by a group of Colorado and New 

York financial partners. Two of the main supporters of the new facility are Ronnie Burt of Visit KC and Kansas City Mayor Sly James. James stressed the need for such a facility, pointing to a number of large national conventions that had passed up Kansas City because there were not enough centrally located hotel rooms 

to serve convention attendees. With the proposal on a fast track, officials say the hotel could open as early 

as 2018.  


LA Metro chief says P3 makes sense for tunnel under Interstate 405

Phil Washington After having used public-private partnerships (P3s/PPPs) for transit projects when he was with the Denver transit agency, new L.A. Metro head Phil Washington (pictured) said a P3 might also be a good alternative financing method for the proposed double- or triple-level tunnel under Interstate 45 - "the 405." Early plans for the project include a 60-foot tunnel that could accommodate trains on one level and cars on one or maybe two levels. Revenue would be created from tolls charged drivers who want to use the tunnel. The tunnel is expected to cost close to $10 billion, but Metro only has $1 billion it can put toward the project. Washington told Move L.A., a group that advocates for a sound public transportation system, that the benefit of a P3 is that is usually accelerates completion of projects and money is readily available, where the public sector has to depend on a variety of sources such as grants, bonds, etc., that can take years to build up to finance projects. "P3s allow us to build the projects now and pay for them over a longer period of time - sort of like the mortgage on a home - but, of course, there is a cost to borrowing the money," he said. In addition to P3s, also under consideration as a means of financing the project is a proposed half-cent sales tax increase that voters would decide next year. If approved by a two-thirds vote of the public, the measure could bring in close to $90 billion over 45 years. 


Rutgers looking to public-private partnership for athletic facilities upgrades

Officials at Rutgers University are considering plans for the university's athletic facilities. Among the proposals are proposed renovation of the football program's training facility, Hale Center, and upgrades to administrative and academic resource facilities. A formal presentation of what's being planned is expected to be made at the Board of Governors meeting in June. In the meantime, university officials will be seeking private partners to help with the costs of renovation plans. A report commissioned by a state senator estimated the cost of a far-reaching athletics facility plan at $100 million. Both state lawmakers and Rutgers officials say a public-private partnership will likely be incorporated to ensure the projects are carried out.


Residence hall part of $400M construction plan for New Jersey university

Sue Henderson Ground was recently broken on a 425-bed, four-story student residence hall at New Jersey City University (NJCU), part of a $400 million plan for new construction on the university's West Campus. The new facility will more than double the current student housing that is available on campus. It is the first residence hall the university has built using a public-private partnership model. The partnership includes a private development firm, the university and the NJCU Foundation. The developer will develop, design, finance, construct and operate the facility for NJCU. The hall will feature suite-style units that include a living area, kitchenette and private bathrooms. There will be a reception area, living-learning community space and commons area. A number of amenities from a community kitchen to a cardio fitness center will also be part of the plan. "This project will bring enormous benefits to student life at the University and build a true sense of community and encourage learning opportunities that are valuable beyond measure for our students, faculty, and corporate partners," said NJCU President Sue Henderson (pictured).   


P3/PPP likely for $1.6 billion water, sewer upgrades, repairs in Kansas

A public-private partnership (P3/PPP) is under consideration in Wichita, Kansas, where city officials are looking for funding for $1.6 billion in water and sewer infrastructure repairs and upgrades. Under the guidelines of this P3/PPP, a private firm would be sought through bids to loan money and experience to the project as it evaluates the facilities. The company selected for the project would, in turn, receive annual payments from the city to pay off the loan. "The whole goal in looking at these public-private partnerships is to see if we can pick up efficiencies in the way that we operate our system and looking at some unique tools that aren't available to us today that may change our bond indebtedness in the future," said Mayor Jeff Longwell. City officials stress that a P3/PPP does not mean the city is privatizing the services. The city will retain ownership of the water and assets such as plants and pipes and can continue to set rates and make policy decisions. The city has given its approval for solicitation of bids for the first phase of the project, which includes evaluating Wichita's infrastructure and creating a plan for repairs.


Collaboration Nation

Where are they now?

 Are you a government official who has moved into a new position or to a new agency? Did you recently retire? Were you recently named to an executive-level position at a state-supported college, university or community college? Have you secured a new job as superintendent of a public school? If so, we'd like to hear from you - and so would your friends and colleagues - for our "Where Are They Now" column. Just drop us a line at and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Alan Matheson. 


Alan Matheson Alan Matheson (pictured), who has been senior environmental advisor and state planning coordinator under Gov. Gary Herbert, has been named by Herbert as director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. He would succeed Amanda Smith, who is leaving this week to pursue opportunities in the private sector. In his job in the Governor's Office, Matheson oversaw major planning initiatives throughout the state and among state agencies. He oversaw and facilitated stakeholder initiatives that resulted in balanced solutions on air quality, land management and recreation issues. Matheson was also the former executive director of Envision Utah for six years, overseeing a growth strategy to maintain and enhance Utah's quality of life. He also is a former director of the Utah Water Project and a former senior attorney and environmental policy advisor for the Arizona Public Services. A former law clerk in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District, Matheson also worked in the private sector as a partner in a law firm that focused on water law. Matheson holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and a law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.


Opportunity of the week...

A solicitation has been issued for construction of a new common mission control center at an Air Force Base on the West Coast. The project could cost as much as $250 million, for the proposed two-story, 83,000-square-foot facility. Some of the inclusions in the contract are utilities, fire detection/suppression system, pavements, site improvements, landscaping, communication and information technology support and more. 

Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or

Greg Nadeau Ron HIckman Kishor Bagul Gregory G. Nadeau (top left), acting administrator for the Federal Highway Administration since July 2009, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to lead the agency, to replace Victor Mendez, who left the agency to become deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Harris County, Texas, Constable Ron Hickman (top center), a veteran of 32 years in law enforcement in the county, has been selected by the Harris County Commissioners Court as the new county sheriff, replacing Adrian Garcia, who resigned to run for Houston mayor. New York Chief Technology Officer since August 2012 and former chair of the Board of Directors of the NYS Forum, Kishor Bagul (top right) has resigned from his post in the public sector, effective May 8, and no replacement has yet been announced. Ed Felten, a well-known information security researcher and critic of National Security Agency activities, has been named White House deputy chief technology officer. Steve Crawford, current captain with the Bozeman, Montana, Police Department and a 20-year veteran of the department, has been named chief of police and will replace Ron Price, who retired in January. Todd White, superintendent of the North Kansas City schools, has announced his retirement from the district to take an assistant superintendent job at the Blue Valley School District in Steve Green Heidi Tracy Verdenia Baker Johnson County. Steve Green (bottom right), superintendent of the Kansas City Public Schools, is planning to leave the school district after being named sole finalist for superintendent of the Atlanta-area DeKalb County School District, where he will replace former superintendent Michael Thurmond. Heidi L. Tracy (bottom center), former vice president for institutional advancement at Otterbein University, Ohio, and former vice president for individual giving at Carnegie Mellon University, has been appointed the new vice president for advancement for Texas Woman's University. Palm Beach County commissioners have named Verdenia Baker (bottom left), who has served as County Administrator Bob Weisman's deputy for more than 15 years and who has been an employee of the county's government for nearly three decades, has been named as the new county administrator. Matthew Stanski, the Philadelphia School District's chief financial officer, is leaving the school system, effective in June, to become supervisor of management, budget and planning for the Montgomery County, Maryland, school system. Chuck Rosenberg, a former U.S. attorney and current chief of staff to the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has been named acting director for the Drug Enforcement Administration, replacing ousted DEA chief Michele Leonhart. Heather Davis Schmidt, current executive regional director for Region 2 of Missoula County Public Schools, has been selected as the new Whitefish, Montana, School District superintendent. 


Let us help advertise your event on our calendar
Does your organization or agency have an upcoming event that would be of interest to either vendors who do business with government or officials and workers in state and local government, higher education, public education or health care? Are you planning a webinar? A conference or seminar? The Government Contracting Pipeline invites government and nonprofits to send information regarding your events for consideration to be included in our FREE Calendar of Events section below. In addition to providing contact information, the day, date, time and a synopsis of the event, you may also include a link to additional information on your Web page and/or a link to online registration that we'll include. Please submit your event information to

Calendar of events

VIA Rail Canada CEO to address multi-billion-dollar P3 project

Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, president and CEO of VIA Rail Canada, will be the speaker for the June 4 Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships luncheon event focused on "VIA Rail's P3 Solution to Ever-Increasing Taxpayer Subsidies." The event will be at the Toronto Hilton Hotel (Toronto Ballroom), 145 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario. Desjardins-Siciliano will discuss VIA Rail's strategy to raise $2 billion in private funds, likely through a public-private partnership. The money will be used to build dedicated passenger tracks as part of a $3 billion endeavor to provide high-frequency, reliable service from Toronto in Ottawa, Ontario, and Montreal, Quebec. More information is available at Registration is now open and seating is limited.


2015 AFT Public Employees National Conference set this month

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten will be the keynote speaker for the upcoming 2015 AFT Public Employees National Conference. The event will be May 28-30 at the Hyatt Regency Denver, Colorado Convention Center. The conference explores issues facing federal, state and local government employees across the country. The theme for the event is "Reclaiming the Promise of Quality Public Services for Strong Communities." Pre-conference workshops on May 28 will address topics such as challenges to union security and public speaking. Other topics for workshops during the conference include infrastructure investment, pensions and retirement security and creative solutions for paying for quality public services. Online registration has begun and a draft agenda is available.  


Government Finance Officers Association plans conference in Philadelphia

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) will host its 109th Annual Conference - Innovation and Resilience May 31-June 3 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The concurrent sessions will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia. Attendees will learn about implementation of best practices in public finance from successful governments, leading practitioners and other experts. The GFOA annual conference will feature sessions focused on improving government (financial resiliency, changes in accounting and financial reporting, how to best use new technologies, making sense of big data, developing investment strategies, communicating financial information, debt management, disaster management, capital finance), as well as sessions focused on improving skills as a finance officer (leadership skills, managing employees, personal productivity). General sessions will feature nationally recognized speakers and an exhibit hall will be open to those at the conference. Attendees can earn up to 21 continuing professional education (CPE) credits by attending. Registration is open and a conference brochure is available.   


National State Auditors Association plans conference in early June

The National State Auditor's Association Annual Conference is scheduled for June 9-12 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The event will be at the Little Rock Marriott Hotel, Three Statehouse Plaza. Included in the event will be a presentation on the "State of the States" by Scott Pattison, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers. Other session topics address ethics, IT security and more. Up to 16 credits for continuing professional education (CPE) are available for attendees. The draft program is available and registration is open. 

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Ph: 512.531.3900


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