Legal Alerts Nov 15, 2016

The Future of U.S. Infrastructure and Local Control Amid Post-Election Uncertainty

Post-Election Opportunities for Local Government Agencies

Last week, the nation experienced an election unlike any other in history. A major party candidate broke with his party’s governing philosophies, yet led that party to the presidency as well as preserving control of both chambers of the Congress. This week, Congress returns for a lame duck session in which few major votes are expected until December. This may be a good thing as House and Senate leaders are not sure what, if anything, the rank and file are willing to support. We do know that they must fund government beyond a Dec. 9 deadline. It is also highly likely that a major water funding bill will be enacted and signed before the end of the year.

In the next six months, the federal government will remake itself in the Donald Trump promise of economic populism, proactive deregulation and America-first nationalism. The challenge for local governments and special districts will be to align their advocacy messages with these themes for successful outcomes.

Funding for Infrastructure and Job Creation
Both presidential candidates, and their respective parties, agreed that the nation needs a major investment in infrastructure and the domestic jobs such an infusion could create. Both parties also seemed to agree that the way to fund this is to change our tax code such that corporate America would repatriate billions of tax dollars currently sitting offshore. These infrastructure investments are anticipated to fund water, power, communications, and transportation (air and ground) improvements — the life blood of every community!

Opportunity to Advance Local Control
There will also be opportunities for local governments to demonstrate that some current and proposed federal regulations are exercises in preemptive overreach and should be withdrawn or repealed. But local government will have to be vigilant of efforts by corporate America to ride this deregulation wave to preempt local governments’ ability to manage their own communities.

BB&K’s Government Relations Team is Ready to Assist
Best Best & Krieger government relations professionals are well-positioned to help clients identify advocacy and funding opportunities in the year to come, frame their messages to be relevant in this new government environment, and arrange productive meetings with the new policymakers in both Washington, D.C. and Sacramento. Note that visits to D.C. should be scheduled in late-March or later to allow time for the new team to be in place.

For more information on BB&K government advocacy services, please contact the authors of this Legal Alert listed to the right in the firm’s Municipal Law and Government Relations Services practice groups, or your BB&K attorney.

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Disclaimer: BB&K Legal Alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqué.

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