By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

Two hundred ARTBA members are heading to the Nation’s Capital for the association’s annual Federal Issues Program (FIP), opening Monday, May 9, at the Hyatt Regency Washington Hotel.  On May 10-11, they will join more than 200 additional industry executives in lobbying Congress during the annual Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) Washington Fly-In, organized by ARTBA and industry partners.

This year’s events will include 33 participants in the ARTBA “Industry Leaders Development Program” (ILDP), formerly known as the “Young Executive Development Program.”  The ILDP, tailored for executives under 50 years-old, provides attendees with a solid understanding of industry economics, transportation program funding and financing, and the federal regulations impacting the transportation infrastructure market.  They will also learn how and when they—and their company or agency—can become politically engaged to help shape and move transportation policy at all levels of government.

The FIP is packed with important division and committee meetings and the semi-annual gathering of the ARTBA Board of Directors. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with officials from several federal agencies.  Rep. James B. “Jim” Renacci (R-Ohio), a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, and Sen. Thomas Richard “Tom” Carper (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, will address the TCC on May 10. Both congressional committees have tax-writing authority, which has important implications for transportation funding.

This year’s events comes five months after passage of the FAST Act, which reauthorized the federal surface transportation program through 2020.  Top on the lobbying agenda: urging Congress to finish the job and provide a permanent, sustainable revenue resolution for the Highway Trust Fund; appropriate all of the funds authorized for highway and transit capital programs during FY 2017; and pass a multi-year FAA program authorization with increased funding for the federal Airport Improvement Program.

ARTBA 2016 Chairman David Zachry will preside over the ARTBA Transportation Development Foundation Awards Luncheon May 10. This signature event is co-sponsored by HCSS, HNTB Holdings, Ltd., The Vecellio Group, Volvo Construction Equipment, Fluor, Skanska and Richie Brothers Auctioneers. Washington Post political analyst Chris Cillizza will address the luncheon.

Walk-in registrations for the FIP and TCC Fly-in are welcome.

Watch for special coverage of the events next week in Newsline.

Schedule note: The Tuesday, May 11 ARTBA Board of Directors Meeting, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., is now in room Regency D on the Ballroom Level.