The Electrical Worker online
June 2012

What Congress Can Do
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Politicians like to talk about job creation — but words are one thing, action is something else. Here are five pieces of federal legislation that would help bring some balance back to the economy and create real-world good jobs. Contact your legislator or candidate for office and ask them where they stand.

Infrastructure Bank: Proposed by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), and Mark Warner, (D-Va.), an independent national infrastructure bank would provide federal loans as startup capital to help encourage private investment in highways, bridges, rail and clean energy, which would translate into tens of thousands of good jobs.

Surface Transportation Reauthorization: The Senate's highway bill, passed March 14, would inject billions into federal highway and rail construction projects to improve our country's surface transportation system, while preserving almost 2 million jobs and creating another 1 million over the next few years.

Fix America's Schools Today Act: Introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), the FAST Act would modernize America's increasingly dilapidated school building stock, creating thousands of construction jobs.

Renew the Production Tax Credit: Renewable energy providers are eligible for a federal tax credit to encourage the industry's growth, but in many industries, time is running out on the production tax credit. For example, the wind power industry currently supports 75,000 construction, utility and manufacturing jobs thanks in large part to the tax incentives provided by the wind production tax credit — which expires at the end of 2012.

Raise the Minimum Wage: Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has introduced legislation that would raise the minimum wage by 35 percent and would index it to rises in cost of living. Not only would it help drag many full-time workers out of poverty, but it would boost consumer spending, encouraging job growth.

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