NALEO National Policy Institute on The Future of Our Nation’s Infrastructure - NALEO Educational Fund


November 20-21, 2015 | San Antonio, TX

Every day - Americans, businesses, and communities depend on infrastructure to thrive. Yet the critical infrastructure paid for and built by previous generations has not been adequately maintained to meet the demands of a growing population and increased use. Each year, state and local governments accumulate millions of dollars in needed upkeep and upgrades that go unmet. While Congress and the Administration are grappling to confront long-term challenges over the federal government’s fiscal role in infrastructure spending, America’s roads, highways, bridges, and railroads continue to decline with an uncertain future. In spite of this, policymakers must ensure that future generations of Americans will have a modern, efficient, and secure infrastructure system that will allow our nation to remain competitive in a global market.

The NALEO Educational Fund’s National Policy Institute on the Future of Our Nation’s Infrastructure, the second and final in its series, will provide state legislators, county and municipal officials with an opportunity to enhance their understanding of the various challenges and opportunities policymakers should consider as they pursue investing in our country’s future.

The Institute’s curriculum will cover:

  • An Update on The State of Our Nation’s Infrastructure
  • A Look at the Federal Transportation Bill
  • Transportation Infrastructure
  • Utility and Energy Infrastructure
  • Securing Critical Infrastructure
  • Capital Planning and Budgeting & Various Models for Funding Capital Projects

The curriculum for this Institute is designed to build upon the knowledge acquired by participants who attended the first convening in Dallas, Texas in September 2014. Institute participants will have an opportunity to engage with national, regional and industry experts who will help deepen their understanding of the challenges facing our nation’s aging infrastructure; different models for funding infrastructure and capital projects; and will also explore innovative approaches and best practices being developed and utilized to modernize America’s infrastructure.


Title Sponsor


7:30 AM – 9:00 AM

Registration & Networking Breakfast

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM

Welcome & Program Overview

9:15 AM – 10:15 AM

Session I:

An Update on The State of Our Nation’s Infrastructure

A generation of investments in world-class infrastructure made in the mid-twentieth century is now reaching the end of its useful life. The American Society of Civil Engineers in 2013 gave the nation's infrastructure a letter grade of "D+." They estimated that it would cost $3.6 trillion to improve to a letter grade of "B" by 2020. This session will provide an overview of the state of our nation’s infrastructure and will set the context for the challenges and opportunities policymakers should consider as they pursue investments that ensure the future success of their communities and our nation.

• Mr. Charles "Casey" Dinges, Senior Managing Director for Public Affairs, Membership, Leadership and Programs, American Society of Civil Engineers

10:15 AM – 11:00 AM

Session II:

Building for the Future: A Look at the Federal Transportation Bill

This July, the U.S. Senate passed its version of a federal transportation bill. This bill could have a significant impact on how communities grow in the coming years; the bill contains a provision to expand the eligibility of transit-oriented development (TOD) projects for federal TIFIA financing. The provision would also expand financing for infrastructure projects that promote transit ridership, walkability, or increased private investment. However, momentum around moving the bill forward has slowed since the August recess. This session will provide policymakers with an overview of the legislation, this important provision, and the prospects for reauthorization of a federal transportation legislation.

• Mr. Joe McAndrew, Policy Director, Transportation for America

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Session III:

Transportation Infrastructure (Roads, Highways, Bridges and Rail Roads)

Everyone recognizes the importance of infrastructure in keeping people and goods moving. Our nation needs to continually modernize and maintain our infrastructure to make the United States an attractive place for businesses to operate and for people to live; but these systems largely remain out of sight, and out of mind, until they break and are no longer functional. This session will help policymakers explore the relationship between transportation infrastructure and economic growth and highlight strategies for how states and localities can leverage the limited funds that are available in order to advance their local vision, set priorities and meet the need to move people and goods around.

• Mr. Charles "Casey" Dinges, Senior Managing Director for Public Affairs, Membership, Leadership and Programs, American Society of Civil Engineers

• Mr. Ivan Jaime, Director, Public Affairs, Union Pacific Rail Road Co.

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

Networking Lunch

1:45 PM – 3:15 PM

Session IV:

Utility and Energy Infrastructure

America’s existing and aging utility and energy infrastructure is not fully equipped to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century. As the need to deliver critical services and energy reliably and affordably to communities across the country continues to grow, we must figure out how to make significant investments that are essential for upgrading and modernizing these systems. This session will provide an overview of the current state of utility and energy infrastructure and highlight how federal, state, and local governments and the private sector can work together to address key challenges.

• Mr. Rudy Garza, Vice President, Government

3:15 PM – 4:30 PM

Session V:

Cyber Security: Securing Critical Infrastructure

Cyber-attacks are no longer only threatening individuals’ privacy, but they can now also potentially compromise a country’s critical infrastructure and its ability to provide essential services to its citizens. Cybercriminals are now targeting power grids, water supply systems, transportation, and other vital services, that can potentially cripple a company and the country’s economy, bringing society to a grinding halt. These types of cyber-attacks on critical infrastructures have become a growing cause of concern for governments and private providers everywhere. This session will provide policymakers with an understanding of the critical information and tools they need to conduct thorough vulnerability assessments and what policies, technology and procedures need to be put in place to help protect critical infrastructure.

• Dr. Jeff Cornelius, Executive Vice President, Darktrace

4:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Closing Remarks & Wrap Up for the Day

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Opening Reception

A Deeper Look at Models for Funding Capital Projects

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM

Registration & Networking Breakfast

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM

Session VI:

Capital Planning and Budgeting

Capital expenditures at the local level will be significant during the next three decades. New capital facilities will be needed to meet the needs of anticipated population growth in the United States, and many existing facilities will need to be replaced or upgraded. At the local level, these costs are projected to be in the billions annually. This session will provide policymakers with an overview of how to prepare and evaluate an effective capital plan and how to determine the appropriate funding mechanisms.

• Mr. Bruce Rideaux, Senior Managing Consultant, The PFM Group

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Session VII:

Funding Infrastructure with User Fees

Over the past year, we have seen numerous infrastructure failures across the country ranging from water main breaks, collapsed bridges, derailed trains, and increased congestion on highways. Cities and states across the country need to modernize aging infrastructure, but how will they pay for such projects? Many states and local governments must explore different models for making up the shortfall in resources to address these projects, including user fees. User fees can help people understand that there are no free roads, or water or energy and that our infrastructure needs continuing maintenance and upgrading, just like our homes and cars. This session will provide an overview of how some states and cities are using different types of user fees to improve their infrastructure, and assure their states and cities competitiveness and prosperity for decades to come.

• Mr. Mario A. Espinoza, Deputy Executive Director, Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority

11:45 AM – 12:45 PM

Networking Lunch

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Session VIII:

Funding Infrastructure through Innovative Credit and Bond Programs

Low-cost borrowing through innovative credit and bond programs for infrastructure investment is becoming increasingly important as budgets continue to tighten at all levels of government. This session will provide policymakers with an overview and best practices on how these financing options can be utilized to fund infrastructure projects.

• Mr. Carlos Sharpless, Managing Director, Head of Public Finance, Cabrera Capital Markets, LLC

• Mr. Brit Stock, Vice President, Public Finance, Cabrera Capital Markets, LLC

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Session IX:

Funding Infrastructure through Public Private Partnerships

Public Private Partnerships (P3s) are generally, medium to long term arrangements between public and private sectors where some of the services that fall under the responsibility of the public sector are provided by the private sector. These entities share a clear agreement or shared objective for the delivery of public infrastructure and/or public services. This session will enhance participant’s knowledge of P3’s as a strategy for infrastructure investments and will provide examples of P3 financed projects.

• Mr. Mark Morehouse, Managing Director, William Blair & Company

• Mr. Carlos Sharpless, Managing Director, Head of Public Finance Cabrera Capital Markets, LLC

3:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Closing Remarks, Wrap Up, and Evaluations