1. On April 18, 2018, the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans held a hearing centered around basic background information regarding the state of play in the multiemployer pension arena. With witnesses from the Joint Committee on Taxation and the American Academy of Actuaries, the hearing and the testimony remained elementary but made it clear that the issues facing these plans are dire and require a fix of some sort.

NECA’s Look Ahead: After numerous hours of questioning, multiple members made mention of the need to not only solve the imminent problem of the critical and declining plans, but the need to offer plans with a viable option for the future. In response to this, Rep. Roe mentioned legislation he co-sponsored with Rep. Norcross to introduce the NECA-supported composite pension plan design. NECA remains confident that any solution coming from this joint select committee will include the Composite Plan design.

2. Last week, Dave Singleton from Singleton Electric participated on behalf of NECA in an industry panel aimed at educating employees of the General Services Administration who deal directly with contractors and engineers during the bidding process. Mr. Singleton provided well-worded responses to multiple questions relating to cost and the risks associated with bidding. He made it clear that less information provided by contracting officers results in more risk and in turn a higher bid price.

NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA continues to work with multiple government agencies to educate their employees on best practices and better methods for interacting with contractors. We firmly believe that these types of roundtables and positive interaction with contracting officers pay dividends for our industry and its growth.

3. This past week, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) released the revised text of H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. This new proposal does not include shifting the Nation’s air traffic control system to an independent, federally chartered, not-for-profit corporation.

NECA’s Look Ahead: In addition to reauthorizing federal aviation programs, the bill includes the NECA supported disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA). This bill passed the House in December, but was not taken up by the Senate. The House is excepted to vote on H.R. 4 next week.