H.R. 1873 – Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act
Under current Federal law, it can take an extended period of time for utilities to receive the appropriate authorization to clear brush and trees from transmission right of ways. As a result, transmission right of ways are at a higher risk of fire because of overgrown vegetation. This bill changes federal law to help standardize and streamline the approval process to allow utilities to better manage the areas around their transmission lines. I voted to support H.R. 1873 because promoting consistency at the federal level will increase electric grid reliability and reduce the long-term threat of wildfires.
H.R. 1654 – Water Supply Permitting Coordination Act
Currently, constructing surface water storage projects requires approval from the relevant federal, state, and local agencies. Oftentimes these permit requirements conflict with one another causing project delays and additional cost for developers. H.R. 1654 helps to simplify the process by establishing the Bureau of Reclamation as the lead agency for permitting to help expedite projects. I voted to support H.R. 1654 to help simplify the development of surface water storage projects and to promote long-term water security.
H.R. 2842 – Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act
H.R. 2842 seeks to connect low-income Americans with employers by focusing on on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs. The bill also provides $100 million of federal funding under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program’s contingency fund during fiscal year 2018 for states to help subsidize up to 50% of a recipients wage, with the employer covering the remainder. Far too many working-age Americans are unable to find work, and even more are underemployed. H.R. 2842 will help to put Americans back to work in job training programs, and will help these same individuals maintain long-term employment. I was proud to vote in favor of this legislation, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.