U.S. Department of Transportation Proposes Important Buy America Actions; FTA Administrator Issues Buy America Dear Colleague Letter

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (P.L. 117-58; IIJA) expanded the scope of the Buy America preference by requiring that all construction materials, iron and steel, and manufactured products used in federally supported infrastructure projects be produced in the United States. Prior to the IIJA, Buy America requirements did not apply to construction materials.

The federal government began implementing the new requirements earlier this year, beginning with the Office of Management and Budget’s implementation guidance, followed by the U.S. Department of ...

Posted in Legislation, News, Policy
U.S. Department of Transportation Issues Temporary Waiver of Buy America Requirements for Construction Materials

As anticipated by project sponsors and industry participants, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) issued a temporary waiver of Buy America requirements for construction materials on May 19, 2022.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) expanded the applicability of Buy America and required the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to promulgate guidance extending the current Buy America requirements regarding iron and steel and manufactured products to include construction materials, as well. OMB issued initial IIJA-implementing guidance effective ...

Office of Management and Budget Issues Buy America Implementation Guidance

The Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) recently issued initial Buy America implementation guidance required by Sections 70901-52 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (P.L. 117-58; “IIJA”).

The Buy America preference applies to federally supported public infrastructure projects, including the structures, facilities and equipment for highway, transit, water and energy projects in the United States ...

FTA Releases Initial Guidance for Capital Investment Grants Program

Transit authorities across the nation rely on the Capital Investments Grants (“CIG”) program administered by the Federal Transit Administration (“FTA”) to fund major capital expenses for expansion and core capacity projects. The CIG program is codified at 49 U.S.C. § 5309, and FTA currently administers the program in accordance with its “Final Interim Policy Guidance” published in June 2016.

The recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Job Act (P.L. 117-58; “IIJA”) amended the CIG program statute. Consequently, FTA has prepared initial guidance on ...

New Executive Order Will Now Require Project Labor Agreements for Major Federal Construction Projects

On February 4, 2022, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order on Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects (the “Executive Order”)1, which will require the use of project labor agreements (“PLAs”) on large-scale federal construction projects with a total estimated cost to the federal government of $35 million or more.

A PLA is a collective bargaining agreement that applies to a specific construction project and lasts only for the duration of the project. PLAs are primarily designed to reduce jurisdictional disputes among unions and between ...

How Government Funding Dysfunction Limits Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Implementation

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or “IIJA” (P.L. 117-58) passed on a bipartisan basis in both the House and Senate and was signed by the President one month ago today, on November 15, 2021. One could have assumed that federal agencies would begin allocating the new funding and commence implementation of the IIJA as soon as it became effective. Unfortunately, that is not the case, but for reasons that may not be readily apparent.

The federal government is actually constrained in its ability to implement the IIJA because it is currently funded and operating under a ...

New Infrastructure Bill Expands TIFIA Program

Late last Friday on November 5th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA, which President Biden intends to sign on Monday, November 15th. Much of the focus of the bill has been on the unprecedented increase in federal spending to rebuild the nation's roads, bridges, airports, seaports and transit systems. However, there are several provisions of the infrastructure bill that expand, and hopefully will make more transparent, the TIFIA credit assistance program. A low-cost ...

Posted in Legislation, Policy
$65 Billion Investment in the Future of Broadband

The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that passed the Senate this week includes $65 billion to improve broadband infrastructure, middle mile infrastructure and broadband access by unserved and underserved communities.

Division F (Broadband) of the bill lays out four key aspects of the program. 

Broadband Grants for States 

$42.45 billion will be allocated to eligible states under the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program. Subgrantees under this program will construct and deploy infrastructure for the provision of broadband services. 

There is a minimum allocation ...

Public-Private Partnerships Promoted in Bipartisan Infrastructure Package

Yesterday, the Senate released legislative text for its highly anticipated bipartisan infrastructure package, titled the ­­­­­­­­Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Negotiations have been ongoing for months, and while several political and policy hurdles remain before this proposal can arrive on the President’s desk for his signature, agreement on this bipartisan package is a hugely positive development. Project sponsors and practitioners have closely tracked the development of this package not only with respect to overall funding levels and policies but ...

New California Budget Proposal Provides Massive Funding Boost to Higher Education

On May 14, Gov. Newsom unveiled his record-breaking $267 billion budget proposal to tackle some of the greatest challenges facing the state of California, kicking off what’s been described as the most ambitious era of government spending in the state since the mid-20th century. The new proposed budget comes exactly one year to the day after the governor announced spending cuts to schools, homeless services and health care in light of the state’s $54 billion budget shortfall and the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to a booming stock market and greater than expected tax ...

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