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Advocacy

IRTBA will be the successful leader, educator, and advocate for stimulating positive change at all levels for the transportation design and construction industry in Illinois. Our 2020 dvocacy goal successes in the first and second quarter include:

  • Testified virtually before a special Senate working group established to give the latest information on industry's efforts to keep the economy going and our continued work on much needed transportation infrastructure improvements. Also addressed concerns raised about procurement practices, project acceleration, and agency preparedness.
  • Served as a Safe Roads “Lockbox” Amendment watchdog on municipal government compliance with the Safe Roads Amendment and the Transportation Funding Protection Act (TFPA) to ensure that locals have not diverted Motor Fuel Tax funds to their General Revenue coffers.  
  • Supported a business coalition that filed suit against the Workers’ Compensation Commission for a newly-issued emergency rule that would have shifted the burden of proof for COVID cases, which did not go through the proper legislative channels. Also served as signatory on a joint letter in opposition of the action to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR). A lawsuit was filed and within a few days a temporary restraining order (TRO) prohibiting enforcement of the rule was issued. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission then formally withdrew the emergency rule the following week.
  • Proactively kept the lines of communication open with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, regularly discussing the state of the industry, legislative updates, revenues, agency issues, existing programs, the COVID-19 crisis, the workers’ compensation emergency rule, the State budget, and legislative session status.
  • Met via video conference with U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis to discuss additional assistance to offset Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) losses, reducing state matching funds, regulatory reform, and Fast Act Reauthorization.
  • Promoted ARTBA’s Dashboard of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data, which provides state-specific funding information to showcase to local legislators the benefits of federal dollars in the state or specific region. Encouraged members to contact their U.S. reps to urge them to invest in a federal program.
  • IRTBA President & CEO Mike Sturino participated in a conference call hosted by United States Senator Dick Durbin and featured agency leaders from the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Chicago Department of Aviation, and IDOT. IRTBA reported on key takeaways from the meeting including that the CARES Act legislation has funding for transit and airports and that the Illinois share of federal dollars are internal estimates until all the guidance is out from the key federal agencies.
  • IRTBA leaders met with Senate President Don Harmon and State Senator Bill Cunningham to discuss transportation design and construction priorities across the state. The group discussed the state of the industry, labor, diversity, the economy, and the state of the state. During the meeting, attendees practiced social distancing and then after the meeting, the group briefly posed for a photo outdoors. IRTBA leaders also met virtually with Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady to address a variety of industry issues.
  • Issued a call to action to members urging them to contact senators to support the three-part revenue proposal and play a leadership role in the passage of America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) in the spring, which would authorize $287 billion in highway projects over five years. This included a VMT component for Class 7 & 8 trucks, indexing federal motor fuel user fees, and two options for an increased electric vehicle registration fee. This call to action was particularly important because it was the only legislative transportation funding option being discussed at the beginning of the year.
  • Supported HB 5244, which would require that IDOT establish and implement a transportation performance program and a risk-based, statewide highway system asset management plan to preserve and improve the conditions of highway and bridge assets and enhance the performance of the system while minimizing life-cycle cost.
  • Opposed a bill (HB 2838) that would have required prime contractors to assume liability for any debt owed to a wage claimant or third party on the wage claimant’s behalf incurred by a subcontractor at any tier.
  • Took action to oppose a last-minute BIMP amendment that would have diverted $100 million from the Road Fund for transit (to be used on operations, not for capital projects), which would have been in addition to $1.3 billion in federal funds that transit already received from the original CARES Act. All of this occurring when IDOT had yet to receive any bailout funding.
  • Monitored and closely followed legislation that would impact the industry, including amending SB 3292, the Architectural, Engineering, and Land Surveying Qualifications Based Selection Act, which featured many concerning issues regarding conflicts of interest related to the selection of architectural, engineering, and land surveying services.
  • Opposed HB 4276, which amended the Department of Transportation Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois because it would put a $150 million hole in IDOT’s current Multi-Year Plan (MYP) budget, and is the result of re-routing funds to pedestrian and bike infrastructure.
  • IRTBA President & CEO Mike Sturino was part of the Keynote Address Speaker Panel for the Minnesota Transportation Conference regarding, “Working Together to Fund Transportation: How Other States Are Increasing Transportation Funding,” which focused on the national trends in transportation funding, as well as specifics and lessons learned on how stakeholders in Illinois were able to come together for the creation of the Rebuild Illinois program, overcome regional divisions, and achieve success in securing a significant, long-term transportation funding package.
  • Received a virtual briefing in May from House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Member U.S Representative Mike Bost and U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy about federal reauthorization and the potential for more immediate stimulus assistance to make up for lost Motor Fuel Tax revenues.

A complete outline of the IRTBA's 2020 Accomplishments in quarters one and two are available here.
A complete outline of the IRTBA's 2019 Year in Review is available here.

Contact: Liz Carrero | Director of Communications| E: liz@irtba.org | P: (630) 626-3576

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Itasca, Illinois 60143
Phone: (630) 773-1220
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