On February 11, 2018, President Donald Trump released the details of his proposed infrastructure bill. The $1.5 trillion plan is in the embryo stage as of now but will need bipartisan support to be passed. In other words, President Trump’s cabinet will need to work with Congress in order for the plan to be put into action. In the last section, we focused on many of the major talking points of the proposal including $50 billion dedicated to rural areas of the nation, $20 billion dedicated to “transformative projects”, and $100 billion of federal funding provided as matching funds for local and state government projects.
In this section, we will shift the focus to some of the biggest talking points regarding the proposed bill and the future of the construction industry. As Jacksonville construction lawyers, we are closely paying attention to any new legislation that may affect the construction industry as we know it.
Where Will the Funding Come From?
As we hinted at in the last section, the biggest talking point of the new proposed $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill is what many are referring to as a significant “funding burden shift” that would transfer the majority of financing from federal to local or state government or private funding. With $200 billion federal funding proposed, this would mean that at least 80 percent or more of the remaining funding would need to come from these other entities including taxpayers. Although there is speculation right now that this funding may be partly created by transport, gas, electric, or other forms of taxes, as of right now, this remains the biggest talking point to the proposed bill.
What Other Construction Topics Were Covered?
Within the construction industry, one of the most significant details of the proposal pertains to the Trump administration’s desire to “streamline” the permitting process to begin work on infrastructure projects. The plan proposes establishing a primary federal agency that can reduce the permitting process from around ten years to only two years. This “One Agency, One Decision” concept would resolve the common issue of long delays in an approval system President Trump has often referred to as “fundamentally broken.” Another interesting part of the bill proposes that trade school students and professionals will no longer need to undergo significant licensing requirements from state to state which will help broaden apprenticeships and opportunities for young tradespeople nationwide.
We will continue to follow this bill proposal and any modifications closely, as it will greatly impact the future of the construction industry.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.