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PCA Applauds Passage Of Congressional Resolution to Suspend EPA Funding

Last week's passage of an appropriations rider halting funding to a recent emissions rule-making for the portland cement industry is the first step towards regulations that protect American lives and American jobs, according to the Portland Cement Association (PCA).

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New Housing Starts Jump 14.6 Percent

Nationwide housing starts rose 14.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 596,000 units in January, according to figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department. The gain was due to a 77.7 percent increase in the multifamily sector, where significant month-to-month swings in activity are not unusual and where new building has been below expectations for the past several months, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Meanwhile, single-family housing starts remained virtually flat for the month, with a 1.0 percent decline.

"Considering the abnormally poor weather conditions that prevailed across most of the country last month, along with the continuing difficulty that builders are having in obtaining financing for new construction, the fact that single-family starts held virtually unchanged while multifamily starts posted solid gains is encouraging," said Bob Nielsen, NAHB chairman and a home builder from Reno, Nev. "Any gain in housing production means more people are being put back to work, and is a sign that builders are preparing for improving demand for new homes in the spring."

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AASHTO President Looks to States

Federal transportation funding is crucial to states, the economy, and job creation and must be continued at nothing less than current levels, according to Susan Martinovich, president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and director of the Nevada Department of Transportation.

Testifying at a hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Martinovich said, "Contractors in our state tell me they need a backlog of three years of work to keep their crews together. Currently many see only six months of work on the horizon. With that uncertainty, they can't plan or buy equipment or supplies. They can't assure jobs for existing staff, let alone include training and internships for minority worker programs." Martinovich told the senators, "We are counting on you to sustain the transportation investment this country needs."

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Obama Budget Proposal Starts Transportation Reauthorization Debate

The Obama Administration offered a starting point for a multi-year transportation reauthorization as part of its FY 2012 budget proposal. The Administration outlined a six-year, $556 billion surface transportation program — one that would radically change the program’s scope and structure, although the budget failed to adequately address how the proposed six-year program would be funded.

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C. Paul Palmer Named President And COO At National Lime And Stone

C. Paul Palmer IV was elected president and COO of The National Lime and Stone Co. at the recent meeting of the Board of Directors. The announcement was made by Carleton P. Palmer III, chairman of the board and CEO of the company.

Carleton Palmer said that Paul Palmer will have responsibility for all the operating and administrative functions of the company. The president and COO along with the senior vice president of finance and CFO will report to Carleton Palmer.

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