Support Action in the House on a Long-Term Transportation Bill
The situation with the transportation bill in the House remains fluid. House leaders are trying to figure out a path forward and working to develop a bill that has enough support to pass. Many different options are under consideration, including the 5-year bill approved by the T&I and Ways & Means Committees. Speaker of the House Boehner recently said:
"We ought to do this the right way. We’ve had five-year, six-year reauthorizations of the highway bill. I think it’s important for the states and for those who want to invest in this arena to have a broad horizon so they know where they’re going. And a five-year bill’s the best way to get there."
You can influence this process! It is critical that Members of Congress hear from you, their constituents, this week about the importance of moving ahead with a long-term bill that at least maintains current funding levels. The alternative is a short-term extension that exposes both highways and transit to funding cuts and simply prolongs the uncertainty that is undermining the long-term viability of the program.
New SBA Small Business Size Standards Published
The new SBA engineering services size standard of $14 million in average gross revenues is out (see attached Federal Register notice). It is not what our comments recommended, but is also not the full $19 million included in the proposed rule. These standards become effective March 12, 2012
ACEC completed a quick review of the bulk of the SBA analysis. Bottom line, 60% of responses supported the change to $19 million and that is what the government wanted. Some notable SBA support for a larger size standard are:
The fact that about 90% of our firms would be small businesses is consistent with other industry groups,
The larger size standard would create a larger pool of small businesses so the federal government could use more set-asides (circular reasoning, larger small businesses allows more work to be done by small businesses),
Currently less than 29% of total industry revenues go to small businesses (these arguments reflect the error that only prime contracts are counted by SBA) , and
The average annual revenues for the top 100 ENR firms is about $650 million.
They did accept the ACECH position, that their original analysis included larger "exception" firms that skewed the results. That's what led to their downward adjustment of the proposed $19 million standard to $14 million.
To view the Standards click here.