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Archive for the ‘Guest Post’ Category

States’ Role in Solving a National Crisis

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Written by Patrick Jones
Over the last couple of years, a new group of players has burst onto the scene with the local knowledge and sense of urgency to break the financial deadlock behind our nation’s infrastructure crisis. With Congress still considering how to pay for a possible short-term or long-term highway transportation funding bill, it’s becoming ever clearer that regional and state governments hold the key to a tough problem that pits the value we attach to mobility against lingering resistance to paying for the services we need.

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Innovative Financing Helps Universities Grow

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015
Texas A&M University Campus - Photo by Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University recently announced plans to expand its student housing capacity by more than 3,400 beds with a unique agreement between public and private partners worth over $360 million. The announcement is similar to dozens just like it throughout the country. Student housing on university campuses is an extremely large, growing marketplace and most of the new projects are collaborative efforts called public-private partnerships (P3s).

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Multi-year Highway Bill Facing Continued Uncertainties

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 7 (update)
Those who have hoped to see an end to the seemingly endless series of short-term extensions and looked forward to a passage of the long- awaited multi-year transportation bill this year, may have to wait a bit longer. While the Senate has managed to pass its version of a six year bill (though only with enough funding for three years and employing questionable “pay-fors.”) the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee is still waiting to hear from the Ways and Means Committee concerning the funding of its proposed bill, an issue that threatens to delay committee markup and floor action past mid- October according to congressional sources.

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The Highway Bill: A Realistic Appraisal of its Year-End Prospects

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 7
Congress has approved and the President has signed a three-month extension of the federal highway program through October 29 —but with enough funding ($8 billion) to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent through December. When the lawmakers reconvene in September, attention will shift to the bigger struggle over how to craft and pay for a long term highway bill.

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A Lasting Solution to the Transportation Funding Crisis

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 6
Trust Fund spending could be curtailed by progressively shifting funding responsibilities for local transportation to the States and localities and limiting Trust Fund expenditures to projects and programs that represent core federal responsibilities or are of truly strategic or national significance.

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America’s Infrastructure is Key to Good Jobs, Economic Security and Quality of Life

Thursday, May 21st, 2015
Richard L. Trumka, President, AFL-CIO

Written by Richard L. Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO
Previous generations built an American infrastructure that was the envy of the world. Since then, we’ve been coasting on the wise investments made decades ago. Now it’s our turn to step up and rebuild that foundation so future generations can have the same opportunities we had…The path forward is not easy or pain free. There are no silver bullets, and ignoring our problems will not make them go away. Yet, while legislators wrestle with responsibly funding the necessary investments, the cost of inaction continues to rise.

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Mobile Infrastructure Is the Key to Telemedicine and Global Healthcare

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015
Mobile Medicine

Mobile connectivity—even with all the new, multi-media capabilities being added to it—is still basically about simple, direct communication. Healthcare in the U.S. is marrying technology, professional philosophy, and government programs to reach the same basic goal of improved communication. Because of this, healthcare infrastructure need not rely exclusively on the spread on high-speed access to ensure quality care access.

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Needed: A Fresh Approach to Funding America’s Infrastructure

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 2
With the prospect of a gasoline tax increase pretty much ruled out both by the White House and the Republican House leadership, and with various proposals for funding transportation through corporate tax reform meeting with skepticism from leading Republican lawmakers and thus facing an uncertain future (not to mention their unlikely passage before the current transportation measure expires at the end of May) perhaps the time has come to reconsider the way we fund transportation. Maybe we should abandon our 50-year old reliance on the gasoline tax and the Highway Trust Fund as the sole source of federal revenue and consider additional ways of paying for transportation infrastructure.

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Healthy Infrastructure – A Matter of Life and Death

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

This month an opinion piece came out on the Forbes website proposing that telemedicine’s day has come. The piece, written by venture capitalist Skip Fleshman, basically predicts that 2015 will be the year that remote interactions between medical professionals and patients become not just possible, but practical. “I spend a lot of time crisscrossing the country chatting with leading healthcare providers and insurers about their technology needs,” he writes. “By far the area they are most interested in is telemedicine.”…The people who stand the most to gain from Telemedicine are, unfortunately, the ones least likely to have the infrastructure needed for it. The CDC issued a report two years ago highlighting the various disparities in healthcare access by population groups in the U.S. In no surprise the report revealed that when viewed as groups, a number of factors reduced the availability of healthcare access.

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The Gas Tax and Some Fresh Thoughts on How to Pay For Transportation

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 1
With gasoline prices at a five year low, isn’t this the perfect time to raise the federal gas tax? A growing chorus of voices including several infuential Republican Senators — John Thune (R-SD), Bob Corker (R-TN) Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT)—seem to think so. So does the Washington Post and the New York Times. “Now is the best time Washington has seen in years to raise the federal gas tax,” a Post editorial said. “A modest increase in the gas tax would hardly be noticeable to most Americans,” echoed the New York Times…President Obama isn’t so sure.

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