Jan 10th 2018 | Posted in Infrastructure by Kristin Gordon
Image of a truck crossing a suspension bridge

As the nation’s bridges continue to age, states hope the federal government will provide increased resources to repair and rebuild them. Legislation recently introduced from the United States Senate would provide $75 billion over the next 10 years into a new competitive grant program for repairing bridges. The Bridge Investment Act, introduced Jan. 4, would […]

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Dec 13th 2017 | Posted in Mary Scott Nabers' Insights by Mary Scott Nabers

Senators worked until past midnight in early December to pass their version of a federal tax reform bill. Since the House had passed its version earlier, both houses of Congress are now negotiating final compromises. There are plans to get a bill on the president’s desk by Christmas. Local government leaders, however, are not happy […]

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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 tax reform draft, called Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1, released by the House Ways and […]

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Oct 27th 2017 | Posted in State by admin

The presiding officers of both the House and the Senate have released interim charges to committees on which issues to examine during the interim between the 85th Legislature and the 86th Legislature in 2019.  In Texas’s biennial legislature, a legislative session occurs in odd-numbered years beginning the second Tuesday in January, and running for 140 […]

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Aug 8th 2017 | Posted in Mary Scott Nabers' Insights by Mary Scott Nabers

Delays in the rollout of the Trump administration’s much-heralded $1 trillion infrastructure plan are proving costly for deteriorating U.S. roads, bridges, airports and transit systems. And the longer the delay, the more it will cost taxpayers. Tired of delays on a long-awaited new plan, some members of Congress are busy putting together a “Plan B.” […]

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May 3rd 2017 | Posted in Trends by Kristin Gordon

There is a population of space savers who enjoy being boxed in where they live and work. Tiny homes and shipping containers seem to be showing up more in cities as people look for lower costs, easy upkeep and a smaller environmental footprint. But standard building codes have made it difficult to legally build a […]

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Feb 3rd 2017 | Posted in Legislation/Policy by Kristin Gordon

Gov. Greg Abbott delivered his State of the State address this week at the Texas Capitol. He urged lawmakers to get to work immediately on four issues he named as emergency items. During his address, Abbott shared that over 100 children died last year in the child protective system and that Child Protective Services (CPS) […]

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Jan 27th 2017 | Posted in Education by Kristin Gordon

Before school choice was introduced at the 85th Legislative Session, some Texans may have not been aware of this movement.  Since 2011, a week has been designated in January to celebrate National School Choice Week. Gov. Greg Abbott officially proclaimed January 22-28, 2017 as “School Choice Week” in Texas, joining two dozen governors and more […]

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Jan 20th 2017 | Posted in Legislation/Policy by Kristin Gordon

As the 85th Legislative Session wraps up its second week of discussions over bills from the House and Senate, state agencies anxiously await decisions that could affect their strategic plans and budget requests. Waiting on those decisions became even more of a nail-bitter for all Texans after Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced that lawmakers could appropriate […]

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Jan 13th 2017 | Posted in Legislation/Policy by Kristin Gordon

The day before the 85th Texas Legislative Session convened for 140 days of deliberating over multiple bills, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar released the state’s Biennial Revenue Estimate on Monday with a projection of $104.9 billion. The revenue for the 2018-19 biennium is 2.7 percent less than the general-purpose spending that was available in the 2016-17 […]

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Dec 29th 2016 | Posted in Mary Scott Nabers' Insights by Mary Scott Nabers

Construction firms interested in capturing new business in 2017 should definitely not overlook the government marketplace. It’s possible that this is where most of the action will be! Construction is pending on a proposed $150 million Texas project – a new Hidalgo County Courthouse in Edinburg. In Maryland, Montgomery County officials have requested development proposals […]

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Dec 21st 2016 | Posted in Water by Priscilla Loebenberg

The president signed into law on Friday legislation that will authorize about $10 billion in federal investment in water projects. The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act provides for stormwater management projects and more than 330 port, levee and dam projects. It also funds initiatives to develop alternative water supplies in drought areas. […]

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Dec 20th 2016 | Posted in Transportation by Government Contracting Pipeline

The Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act was signed into law on Friday. The legislation will allow private businesses and local governments to pay for improved infrastructure at U.S. ports of entry by entering into agreements with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “South Texas is a powerhouse for world trade, and this law will help increase the […]

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Dec 16th 2016 | Posted in Texas Government Insider by Texas Government Insider

Two Texans were named to President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet this week. Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson was nominated for Secretary of State and former Gov. Rick Perry has been selected to lead the Department of Energy. Both picks bring with them strengths and weaknesses that could lead to contentious confirmation hearings. Tillerson may be one […]

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Dec 7th 2016 | Posted in Public Safety by Government Contracting Pipeline

Since president-elect Donald Trump promised to end federal funding to sanctuary cities many city and county leaders around the country have been wondering what that might mean for them. The term sanctuary city doesn’t have a legal definition. Jurisdictions that consider themselves sanctuary cities generally have policies that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The […]

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Dec 2nd 2016 | Posted in Mary Scott Nabers' Insights by Mary Scott Nabers

Rarely does a session of the Texas Legislature end without aggressive advocacy from local government leaders with one unified message – “No more unfunded mandates, please.” State and federal officials all too often push government obligations down to city and county levels and then allocate no funding to pay for the new mandates. As painful […]

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Nov 30th 2016 | Posted in Transportation by Government Contracting Pipeline

As tolls have become a more popular solution for transportation challenges in states and municipalities across the country, industry groups and citizens have been calling for more interoperability. Currently, drivers who use tollways operated by different agencies may have to acquire different transponders for each system. As part of the Moving Ahead for Program in […]

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Nov 18th 2016 | Posted in Mary Scott Nabers' Insights by Mary Scott Nabers

The Road Improvement Program (TRIP) recently reported that pavement on 32 percent of America’s roadways is in substandard condition. That results in very rough rides for motorists. Vehicles don’t hold up well under constant jarring and tires don’t last long either…but that’s only a fraction of the real cost for motorists. The accelerating deterioration of […]

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Nov 16th 2016 | Posted in Infrastructure by Government Contracting Pipeline

President-elect Donald Trump has promised to make a $1 trillion in infrastructure investments a top priority for him as president. He reaffirmed that pledge in his Nov. 9 victory speech and signs point to public-private partnerships (P3/PPP) as a significant component to the Trump infrastructure plan. “We are going to fix our inner cities and […]

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Nov 16th 2016 | Posted in News by Government Contracting Pipeline

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it is adding a sound requirement for all newly manufactured hybrid and electric light-duty vehicles to help protect pedestrians. The new federal quiet car standard will help pedestrians, especially those who are blind or have low vision, detect the presence, direction and location […]

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Nov 9th 2016 | Posted in P3/PPP by Government Contracting Pipeline

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a public policy think tank, has released a new report in which it recommends the federal government create seven regional public-private partnership (P3/PPP) units. The P3 units would be used to educate the public sector and help agencies use P3s to effectively meet the nation’s infrastructure needs. The report, Private Participation in […]

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Oct 14th 2016 | Posted in State by Priscilla Loebenberg
Image from the 2016 Biennial Legislative Communications Conference

A number of elected officials, along with others in the executive ranks of government in Texas, were among numerous presenters at the 2016 Biennial Legislative Communication Conference. The pre-legislative session event was sponsored by Strategic Partnerships, Inc and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar kicked off the day-long event and discussed […]

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Sep 30th 2016 | Posted in Legislation/Policy, Mary Scott Nabers' Insights by Mary Scott Nabers

Local and state government entities could be headed toward a $1.5 trillion financial catastrophe. Public-sector pension programs are hemorrhaging and experts see no relief in sight. In 2014, the funding gap between promised benefits and funding to pay for the benefits topped $934 billion. The Pew Charitable Trusts, in a recent study, reported that gap […]

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Sep 16th 2016 | Posted in P3/PPP by Mary Scott Nabers

The Great Recession may be over, but fiscal issues in many states are still dire. Public officials at every level of government are also struggling to meet budgets that have not expanded in years. Even after seven years of recovery efforts, more than 20 states still collect less tax revenue than they did prior to […]

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