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Rep. Babin Introduces Municipal Infrastructure Savings and Transparency Act

Apr 2018

U.S. Representative Brian Babin (TX-36) has introduced the Municipal Infrastructure Savings and Transparency Act which would ensure an open bidding process for federally-funded public works projects.  The bill is designed to address the lack of competitive bidding practices in infrastructure projects that raises project costs for utilities and rate payers. 

“President Trump is committed to rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, and so am I, but we can’t repeat the inefficient and ineffective practices of the past and frankly, the present,” said Rep. Babin. “This bill makes a simple but critical reform to our federally-funded procurement and project-development process by returning authority and responsibility to the construction professionals who know best.  As we come together on President Trump’s signature infrastructure proposal, the next Water Resources Development Act and other legislation, this bill will ensure we use the best products and get the best return on investment to the taxpayer.”

The lack of competitive bidding has been a particular concern for water infrastructure projects, where the vinyl industry is often prevented from competing in the bidding process due to outdated local specifications and procurement practices.  The bill seeks to address this issue by providing more authority to local engineers to choose the best performing materials and products for their project.

“It is no secret that our nation’s infrastructure has suffered from decades of neglect and underinvestment,” said VI Chairman, Dick Mason, in response to the bill’s introduction.  “The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that an additional $2 trillion in spending is needed over the next 10 years to bring America’s water systems, roads, bridges and dams into the 21st Century. But with smart, comprehensive policies, we can reduce the costs for taxpayers and develop more resilient, sustainable infrastructure in the process. The Municipal Infrastructure and Savings Act would help achieve this goal by allowing local engineers to make more informed decisions about the materials they choose for their project. For example, recent research has shown that municipalities can save 30% in water infrastructure project material costs when open competition is applied. We want to thank Congressman Babin for his leadership on this issue and look forward to working with him to develop more sustainable infrastructure.” 

The Vinyl Institute would like to thank Congressman Babin for his leadership on this bill and we look forward to working with him to advance it in Congress.  VI believes that allowing open competition will provide local water engineers with more options to design more resilient and sustainable water infrastructure.  Competition will also help drive down material costs that are ultimately passed on to ratepayers. 

For more information on this bill, please email John Serrano.

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