Fighting for Dollars: The Importance of Advocacy in D.C.
Many of the utility construction projects regularly bid on by NUCA members came about only as a result of federal funding. Therefore, keeping track of the legislation moving through Congress with the potential to fund more projects in New Jersey is a major focus of ours. A timely example is the Water Resources and Development Act, which typically comes up for consideration every two years. This bill authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out activities concerning water resources development projects, water supply and wastewater infrastructure, flood control, navigation, or ecosystem restoration, such as shoreline restoration. Over the summer, the House and Senate each passed their respective versions of the bill, setting the stage for the conference committee that will now reconcile the final measure then destined for the White House. At each step, negotiations take place to bring more funding to a particular state, sometimes over another state. New Jersey Congressman Tom Malinowski (D-7), for example, secured an extra $20 million for his district over the summer to modernize wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. As these types of bills come up, NUCA NJ will continue to advocate for the greatest level of funding and encourage our delegation to fight for even more.