Concrete Products

JUN 2017

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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Page 12 of 51 June 2017 • 11 GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS AGENCIES A recent hearing of the U.S. House Transporta- tion & Infrastructure (T&I) Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management saw the BuildStrong Coalition weigh in on mitigating damage and recovering quickly from disasters as part of the T&I Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America plan. BuildStrong Senior Advisor and former Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator (2005-2009) R. David Pauli- son highlighted the need for reforming the nation's disaster spending model to focus on mitigation through such actions as enhancing pre-disaster mitigation funding; consolidating disaster spending under FEMA; and, creating a post-disaster mitigation incentive that rewards states with modern building codes. He also advocated reforming the federal-state disaster cost share system by reducing federal exposure from 75 per- cent to 60 percent, and allowing states to buy up their federal share by taking certain mitigation steps—among them adopting and enforcing a statewide building code. "We have a moment to make America resil- ient again and save both lives and taxpayer dollars," Paulison assured committee members. "In my 35 years of dealing with natural disas- ters at the federal, state, and local levels, I can tell you that our federal policy regarding disasters does not do nearly enough to prevent infrastructure failure before a disaster strikes." Nationwide Property and Casualty Opera- tions President and COO Mark Berven cited the need to reform policy behind disaster spend- ing, indicating that the federal government's current approach has "left communities across the nation vulnerable ahead of the next storm." He also highlighted the prospect of improving the nation's infrastructure as an opportunity for the Trump Administration and Congress to create a lasting impact on enhancing disaster resiliency. The BuildStrong Coalition is a group of firefighters, emergency responders, insurers, engineers, architects, contractors and manufac- turers, as well as consumer organizations, code specialists, and other stakeholders committed to building a more resilient America. "With the growing impact of natural disas- ters on communities around the country and the start of Atlantic hurricane season on the hori- zon, it is critical that we do more to proactively limit the damage caused by these events," said BuildStrong Chairman Jimi Grande, noting how the coalition applauds Subcommittee Chairman Lou Barletta (R-PA) and Ranking Member Henry C. Johnson, Jr. (D-GA) for "taking a serious look at this issue to ensure investment in our coun- try's infrastructure protects America's homes and businesses in the face of a rising number of severe storms." LAWMAKERS TUNE TO DISASTER MITIGATION, FUNDING REFORM

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