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Legislative Update

RR092220 legislativeSept. 22, 2020 – The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) continued its virtual Legislative & Policy Forum with a series of networking discussions. Nile Elam, NSSGA director of legislative affairs, was the lead on a discussion of infrastructure policy. He broke the news that Congressional leaders unveiled a Continuing Resolution for FY2021, which includes a one-year extension of current surface transportation authorization funding levels. Passage of a one-year continuation, while positive news, does not take away from the fact that a full reauthorization of the FAST Act needs to begin as soon as possible.

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NSSGA Kicks Off Virtual Legislative Conference

RR092120 NSSGAlegislativeSept. 21, 2020 – The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) kicked off its Legislative & Policy Forum with an election outlook session offered by analysts Charlie Cook (The Cook Political Report) and Stuart Rothenberg (Inside Elections). Cook and Rothenberg read the tea leaves as they see them approximately six weeks out from the election, using statistical tools and historical precedent to demonstrate the uniquely difficult position President Trump is in with regard to re-election. Rothenberg predicted the House would remain in Democratic hands, and highlighted the fight for the Senate which could go either way.

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FAST Act Expiration Coming Fast

RR070220 NewHighwayBillSept. 16, 2020 – Well, here we are in September and it looks very unlikely that a new infrastructure bill will be passed by the end of the month. With the FAST Act's expiration, the only solution is a short-term extension. A legislative update from this week's National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association M&S Committee meeting indicated that the Highway Trust Fund will become insolvent in 2021 without action by Congress. They are proposing a one-year extension of the FAST Act in the hope that the new Congress will pass a fully funded infrastructure bill. It is very disappointing that despite knowing the FAST Act was due to expire, the Trump administration and Congress did not move on one of the few things they agree on: rebuilding our roads and bridges.

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Ready Mixed Production Rises

NRMCAlogo squareSept. 14, 2020 – The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association released production results for the month of June. The estimated ready mixed concrete produced in June 2020 was 37.1 million cu. yd., 11.3% higher than that in June 2019. The estimated production in the U.S. for 2020 through June is 176 million cu. yd., 3% higher than that during the same period in 2019. Ready mixed concrete production is estimated from cement shipments reported by the U.S. Geological Survey. 

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Sullivan Speaks

RR090820 sullivanSept. 8, 2020 – Portland Cement Association Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Ed Sullivan postulated two likely economic scenarios for the future as he gazed into his crystal ball. In the newly released briefing, "Coronavirus Impacts on the US Cement Industry," Sullivan suggests the possibility of a W-shaped model that includes a slide back into recession due to a significant rise in infections. But there is also a "Vaccine Scenario," in which a vaccine or therapeutic drugs reach mass distribution by mid-2021, reducing uncertainty and resulting "in dramatically improved consumer confidence [and] significantly stronger economic growth during the second half of 2021." Let's all hope for the latter. 

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