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Legislative Committee

The Legislative committee members have been busy this year as the Legislation is in session. Members have been working with and partnering with other organizations, Minnesota 2050, ACEC, and APWA, pursuing the same cause, namely infrastructure.

In December the Legislative Committee hosted the monthly section meeting. State Auditor Rebecca Otto and U of M’s Len Kne presented their work on the interactive infrastructure maps (Infrastructure Stress Transparency Tool) that the Auditor’s of ce has been spearheading. The maps can be found here: http://www.osa.state.mn.us/default.aspx?page=20160211.001

In January, Legislative Committee members attended a round table discussion with Lori Sturdevant (Star and Tribune), Larry Jacobs (Humphrey School of Public Affairs), and Mary Lahammer (Twin Cities Public Television). The topic was this year’s upcoming State legislative session. As in the past sessions, a Transportation Bill is being discussed. The three panelists did not have high hopes for action on a comprehensive Transportation Bill this session, sighting too many disagreements. However, in true political fashion, all three said you never know until it is over, and then there could be a special session. They agreed that any movement would more than likely happen towards the end of the session, maybe even right before the deadline to adjourn.

The Legislative Committee supports the Minnesota 2050 initiative on behalf of the Minnesota Section. MN2050 goals and past ac- complishments have been covered in the newsletter previously. More recently the initiative has done the following:

• Performed the first-ever surveys of the use of Asset Management tools and systems by Minnesota cities, counties, and large state agencies. The results—data and presentations—have led to proposing improvements in how infrastructure is tracked and managed.

• Supported the joint State Auditor and University of Minnesota project to create inter-active infrastructure utility maps for Minnesota cities.

• Encouraged partner members to participate in last March’s presidential caucuses. Nearly 100 attended those meetings; ASCE led in participation. Attendance was evenly split among the two major political parties. 11 attendees proposed infrastructure invest- ment resolutions; 10 of those passed unanimously. This has encouraged advocacy efforts.

• Now participating with the Minnesota chapter of APWA in their new infrastructure advocacy initiative (which is in the very early stages).

• Starting to use social media to help get the word out. A LinkedIn group is up and running. Twitter and Facebook are next.

The Legislative Committee participated in the ASCE Multi-Regional Leadership Conference (MRLC) in February. The Legislative Committee presented on ASCE’s Key Contact Program to the Younger Member Council. Aaron Castelo and Brian Pallasch from ASCE’s Government Relations also participated in the group discussion.

Are you a Key Contact? Stay up to date on important public policy issues and on goings. Become an advocate for ASCE and your future today. Here are some of the issues Key Contacts get involved in:

• Licensure 

• Qualification-based selection 

• Sustainability

• Resilience 

• STEM education 

• Infrastructure funding

Join today at http://www.asce.org/keycontacts/

Look for the release of the highly anticipated 2017 ASCE Infrastructure Report Card in March. The release will coincide with the ASCE Legislative Fly-in being held in Washington DC. In recent years, the ASCE Report Card has been cited in many congressional speeches including President Obama’s State of the Union. Interested in participating in future ASCE Fly-ins, contact the Legislative Committee for more details.