March 1, 2016
PCCA Continues Full Court Press in Washington
The PCCA Government Relations team began 2016 much like it ended 2015, by pounding the pavement in Washington, D.C., to meet with industry allies, promote PCCA members and the work they do, and lend expertise to discussions of our industry.
Seven PCCA members traveled to our nation's capital January 19-21, to meet with top staff people at the Rural Utilities Service Electric Program, the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, and the House Committee on Agriculture (both the Majority and Minority sides). The group also met with the staff of Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), author of Rural Broadband Infrastructure Investment Act (HR 4160), and offered support for the bill and then visited several Capitol Hill offices to tout the importance of RUS electric and broadband programs.
(Learn more about HR 4160 here: https://huffman.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/reps-huffman-thompson-and-nolan-introduce-the-rural-broadband)
On January 21, John Fluharty, Mears Group, represented the association in a panel discussion during the Associated Equipment Distributors Summit at National Harbor in Maryland. The panel, "Equipment Markets and Federal Policy," included representatives from the Associated General Contractors and the National Association of Manufacturers. Fluharty effectively expressed PCCA’s position regarding the need for expedited distribution of resources from the FCC’s Connect America Fund, the fundamental role played by underground fiber in broadband infrastructure, and the need for interaction with the contracting community when considering federal policy related to broadband infrastructure.
Attending these meetings for PCCA were Carmine Battafarano, Henkels & McCoy; the aforementioned John Fluharty; Robin Gilbertson, J&R Underground; John Hale, John Deere; Todd Myers, Kenneth G. Myers Construction; Candace Schnoor, John Deere; Steve Sellenriek, Sellenriek Construction; and Mike Ancell and Eben Wyman, PCCA.
PCCA Government Relations Visits in January:
1. RUS Electric Program, Assistant Administrator Christopher McLean (Head of Electric Program), Deputy Assistant Administrator Jim Elliott, Policy Advisor Jonathan Claffey
2. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.)
3. Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.)
4. House Committee on Agriculture (Majority), Paul Balzano & Skylar Sowder, Professional Staff
5. House Committee on Agriculture (Minority), Andy Baker, Professional Staff
6. Scott Rasmussen, Staff of Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.)
7. National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Kirk Johnson, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, and staff
8. AED Summit 2016, John Fluharty on Equipment Markets and Federal Policy Panel
Next on the Agenda
The PCCA Government Relations team is traveling to Key Largo, Fla., for the 71st Annual PCCA Convention, March 4-9, at the Ocean Reef Club, where the association's reenergized advocacy efforts will be a key discussion topic throughout the week. There will be a thorough discussion of these efforts and more during the Construction Industry Roundtable, on March 8. Following is the Roundtable speaker lineup:
1. Heath Sellenriek, Sellenriek Construction
2. Greg Spalj, Shareholder, Fabyanske Westra Hart & Thomson
Risk Allocation & Mechanics Liens
3. Dan Shumate, FMI, Utility Market Update
4. Mike Martin, VP Engineering, Engineering Associates, Inc., ACE Report
5. Chris Fullam, Head of Network Deployment & Operations - SE, Google Fiber
6. Steve Pastorkovich, VP of Training & Development, NTCA, NTCA Report
7. Eben Wyman & PCCA Government Relations Committee, Accomplishments & Future Plans
8. Mark Bridgers, Continuum Advisory Group, Economic Overview
Finally, you can read more about PCCA's Government Relations efforts in the February 2016 issue of Underground Construction magazine (page 26-27): http://digital.turn-page.com/i/637536-february-2016