Jennifer Woodard listens to member input at the Board of Directors Meeting prior to the April letting.
I am writing my column today while multi-tasking. In the background I am listening to the House Transportation Committee hearing on one of the several interim charges House Speaker Joe Straus has requested the members study. Yesterday, I was present in the audience at the House Transportation hearing when AGC of Texas Past-President and Chairman of the Legislative Drafting & Review Committee Bob Lanham testified on behalf of the Chapter.
AGC was invited by Chairwoman Geanie Morrison to offer testimony on the interim charge to study TxDOT’s ability to deliver highway construction projects that reduce congestion and improve mobility. Mr. Lanham told the members of the committee that TxDOT has a successful history of delivering large, complex congestion relief projects. He outlined the work that the department and the industry continue to do together to improve contracting and project delivery. It was an excellent hearing and an opportunity to thank the legislators for the funding increases they have made available for transportation over the last several sessions. Bob also publicly thanked the Texas Transportation Commission and the TxDOT staff for their hard work in increasing monthly lettings.
Speaking of lettings, we are forecast to see monthly lettings in excess of $800 million for the balance of the fiscal year through August 2018. This letting outlook is welcome news and long awaited. The Chapter began discussions with TxDOT early last fall about the lettings, and that work continues today as we partner with the department to make sure fiscal year 2019 is equally as healthy and more balanced throughout.
The legislature is busy on all fronts with interim hearings and discussions about critical issues like the state budget, implementation of the TxDOT sunset legislation, environmental issues, and recovery from Hurricane Harvey. AGC continues to monitor and participate in those activities in preparation for a busy legislative session in 2019.
President Clark has highlighted the important work of our political action committee (PAC) in this month’s issue and the connection between how we engage in the election process and the interim and our success during the legislative session is a strong one. The relationships that members are building with state and local elected representatives is incredibly valuable and appreciated. I encourage any member looking for a place to be useful to step into AGC activism to visit with your area manager and Chapter staff.
I want to take a moment to thank the members of our chapter Scholarship Committee for their hard work in selecting another group of scholarship recipients for 2018. We look forward to congratulating our newest AGC scholars in June at the membership luncheon, and finding out more about the students who have shown an interest in our industry and a commitment to construction-related careers. This is one of the most rewarding programs the chapter offers and a credit to the entire membership.
There is current information available on the website, www.agctx.org, or by request from the Chapter office on the upcoming Management Conference June 10 – 14 in Charleston, South Carolina—about the time of the mailing of this magazine. We sold out of our hotel room block by late March—as is typical with the increased interest in our conference. This year our optional activities filled in record time, as well.
Information should be out soon on the annual Administrative Conference in July in San Antonio. All members are encouraged to visit the website for the latest news, events, and programs AGC of Texas has to offer.
We continue to have remarkable success and much to be proud of at AGC of Texas. Thank you to all the men and women around the state who carry on the tradition of members helping members.