SWIC February Newsletter

EDITOR’S NOTE:
UIM: Water Utility Infrastructure Management is a proud member of the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Coalition (SWIC). In June 2013, UIM began publishing a bi-monthly newsletter for SWIC to help keep readers up to date on developments regarding investment in the water sector. UIM looks forward to continuing its partnership with SWIC into 2014 and continuing to bring readers the latest news in water and wastewater investment and legislation.

SWIC Sets the Stage for Water Infrastructure Legislation

The Sustainable Water Infrastructure Coalition (SWIC) had a busy and productive year in 2013. SWIC members joined industry groups to help save tax-exempt municipal bonds and lay the groundwork for the introduction of the “Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act,” legislation to remove water and wastewater projects from restrictive private activity bond (PAB) state volume caps.

Last year, SWIC launched a broad education and public awareness campaign to bolster Congressional and public support for tax-exempt bonds. In Congress, SWIC and its members testified or presented testimony before six committees of jurisdiction and briefed key water and wastewater policy leaders about the importance of tax-exempt bonds in leveraging infrastructure investment. ?

In the Senate, SWIC met with PAB champions Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Michael Crapo (R-Idaho), who drafted legislation and circulated a ?Dear Colleague? letter to U.S. Senators to garner support for original co-sponsors for the PAB legislation. The reintroduction of the Senate bill was deferred in anticipation of a bicameral bill introduction in early 2014.

In the House of Representatives, SWIC members met with the policy staff of Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and other water leaders to discuss the reintroduction of the tax-exempt PAB legislation. SWIC provided Members of Congress and staff with educational material and economic studies in support of tax-exempt bonds and water infrastructure investment.

The White House also came out in support of the PAB legislation in 2013 as a result of SWIC efforts and the PAB measure was included in the President?s FY2014 budget request to Congress. In the budget submission, the U.S. Department of the Treasury provided a new budget score of $258 million over 10 years, which will support up to $50 billion in infrastructure investment. ?

Rep. Pascrell Announces Introduction of Water Bond Legislation

SWIC also sponsored a water and wastewater policy forum in the U.S. Capitol where Rep. Bill Pascrell announced his intention to re-introduce water infrastructure investment legislation. ?The federal government should provide increased resources to help our localities meet federal clean water and drinking water mandates but the reality is in this tough economic environment that the future appropriations from Congress are likely to remain far below the need,? Pascrell told policymakers.
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?That is where the legislation I will soon introduce again, The Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act, comes into play. This bill encourages private capital to be employed for the public benefit by using tax-exempt private activity bonds (PABs) for the repair, maintenance and building of water and wastewater systems. It is estimated that this bill will unleash up to $50 billion in private capital.?

Pascrell, a former mayor of Paterson, N.J., told the audience that his bill will help with the recovery and will create jobs ? ?approximately 1.4 million jobs just with this legislation,? he said. ?The bill will directly contribute to the economy ? for every dollar of water and sewer infrastructure investment, it adds $8.97 to the economy, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

?It makes sense, it is reasonable and it is a very conservative way to invest in our own economy,? Pascrell said about his bipartisan legislation. To view the remarks of Rep. Pascrell and other water leaders, please visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3hRTAylc7M.

Water and Wastewater Policy Leaders Support PAB Measure

Last Congress, the bicameral tax-exempt PAB legislation was sponsored by more than 100 Members of Congress including key water policy leaders:

U.S. Senate:? (Sen. Bob Menendez/Sen. Mike Crapo):

Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.)??? ?????? Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)?? ? Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)??? ?? ? Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)

U.S. House of Representatives (Rep. Bill Pascrell/Rep. Geoff Davis):

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) ??? ??? ?????? Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.)
Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) ??? ?????????? Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.)
Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.)??? ?????? Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.)
Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.)??? ?? ? ????? Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.)
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.)??? ?? ? ???? Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.)
Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.)??? ??? ?? ????? Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.)
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.)??? ?????? ???? Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)
Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.)??? ??? ??????? Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.)
Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.)??? ?? ? ???? Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.)
Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.)??? ??? Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.)

About SWIC

The Sustainable Water Infrastructure Coalition (SWIC) is an alliance of corporations, public organizations, industry trade associations and others representing private and public water and wastewater service providers, construction contractors, equipment manufacturers and distributors, engineering companies, labor unions, financing institutions and business organizations working to advance sustainable water and wastewater infrastructure policy through public awareness, education and advocacy. It is the lead organization in efforts to garner support for the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act, which would open the door for up to $5 billion annually in private investment in public water and wastewater infrastructure projects by removing these projects from the state volume cap on PABs.?

The SWIC newsletter for UIM is co-authored by SWIC co-executive directors Bruce Morgan, Principal of Water Policy Associates, and Eben Wyman, Principal of Wyman Associates. Bruce can be reached at [email protected] and Eben, at 703-750-1326 or [email protected]????

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