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We Mayor May Not Get a Bill

RR052319 HighwayBillJune 3, 2019 – More than half of mayors (57%) discussed infrastructure at length during their annual State of the City addresses this year, according to a new report by the National League of Cities. That made it the second-most popular topic for the second year in a row, trailing only economic development. Mayors gathered in Washington, D.C., recently to discuss the report and how they're handling infrastructure in their cities. It’s no surprise that infrastructure ranks high among mayors' concerns. But mayors are talking about it more often than in recent years. Only 31% of mayors discussed infrastructure in their annual speeches in 2016, climbing to 48% in 2017 and reaching roughly 60% in the last two years, the NLC noted. The mayors shared their infrastructure concerns following a White House meeting on infrastructure ended abruptly, leaving many to speculate whether or not we will even see a bill this year.

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Fly Like an Eagle

RR053119 EagleMaterialsLogoMay 31, 2019 – Just in time for the weekend, Eagle Materials announced that its long-rumored strategic re-evaluation was over. The envelope, please. The company's board of directors has approved a plan to separate its Heavy Materials and Light Materials businesses into two independent, publicly traded corporations by means of a tax-free spin-off to Eagle shareholders. The separation is expected to be completed in the first half of calendar year 2020. The company also announced that it is actively pursuing "alternatives" for its Oil and Gas Proppants business, which is a polite way to say they want to dump it. It is no secret that hedge fund Sachem Head Capital Management, which owns a company stake and board positions, had determined that the "underperforming" division was a drag on stock price. The new Heavy Materials business unit will include its aggregates operations.

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Bring Congress to Your Quarry This Summer

RR052819 BookerMay 28, 2019 – Want to do your part to advance infrastructure funding? The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association says bring Congress to your quarry this summer. Not only do quarry tours offer your representatives media exposure and quality time with their constituents, but you gain the opportunity to discuss important issues one-on-one with your representatives. Any operation willing to plan their own tours should take a moment to highlight the history of the operation, introduce your staff and give a description of your involvement in the community, and any key safety and environmental programs you’ve initiated. Most importantly, do not be afraid of discussing any regulatory or legislative concerns elected officials can address.

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MDU Resources Thinks Sustainable

RR052419 MDU.ResourcesMay 24, 2019 – The Board of Directors of MDU Resources Group Inc. approved the formation of an Environmental and Sustainability Committee at the board level. "More focused oversight by the board over MDU Resources' environmental and sustainability commitments emphasizes how important these efforts are to the overall company strategy and success," said Dennis W. Johnson, chair of the board.

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No Political Football

RR052319 HighwayBillMay 23, 2019 – I have a message for President Trump and Congress: Do not turn infrastructure funding into a political football! President Trump abruptly canceled an infrastructure meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer at the White House yesterday and declared that bipartisan cooperation was impossible while House committees are investigating him. He also demanded that Congress pass a trade agreement replacement for NAFTA before infrastructure legislation. Trump apparently took umbrage at remarks by Pelosi earlier in the day regarding a "cover-up," setting up the confrontation. Trump refused to even sit down when he walked into the scheduled Cabinet Room meeting with the Democratic leaders. He then headed to a pre-arranged news conference in the Rose Garden. This is no time for political posturing. We need a highway bill, and cooperation.

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