October 23, 2008
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INFRASTRUCTURE
AGC to Testify on Infrastructure Stimulus
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Issues Report on State of Water Infrastructure
IMMIGRATION
DHS Issues Supplemental Final Rule on 'No-Match' Letters; Fails to Address Small Employer Concerns
Final Rulemakings on E-Verify and Ethics Expected Shortly
ELECTION
12 Days Until Election Day Have You Already Voted?

  AGC to Testify on Infrastructure Stimulus
AGC will provide a contractor’s perspective on how additional infrastructure investment would help stimulate the economy through direct and indirect job creation at a hearing next Wednesday. AGC this week was invited to testify at the hearing, “Infrastructure Investment: The Road to Recovery,” conducted by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.

As Congress continues to debate whether to enact an additional economic recovery package that may include a significant infrastructure investment component, AGC will contribute to the hearing through testimony from Brian Burgett, President and CEO, Kokosing Construction Company.  Burgett will focus his remarks on water resources investment, in addition to providing testimony on the state of the overall construction industry and on the critical need for supplemental federal infrastructure funding to stimulate the economy.   AGC continues to work with Congressional leaders towards enactment of an economic recovery package with infrastructure investment. Congress may reconvene following the election to consider a bill by the end of the year.

For more information contact Karen Bachman  at (202) 547-4733 or bachmank@agc.org. [ return to top ]

  House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Issues Report on State of Water Infrastructure
The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, chaired by Congressman James Oberstar (D-Minn.), issued a report October 18 condemning the Bush Administration for its failure to adequately invest in the nation’s water infrastructure.

The report, “Stagnant Waters: The Legacy of the Bush Administration on the Clean Water Act,” condemns the Bush Administration for neglecting to adequately invest in Clean Water Infrastructure, enforce environmental oversight and improve water quality.  While the report states that there have been significant improvements in our water quality and infrastructure over the last 36 years, it concludes with a call for increased investment in aging water infrastructure and strengthening of the enforcement of the Clean Water Act. For a complete copy of the report please click here.

AGC has supported the creation of a long-term, sustainable, off-budget source of funding for clean water by creating a trust fund to finance construction and maintenance of this critical environmental infrastructure.  AGC has also supported and promoted “Liquid Assets: The Story of Our Water Infrastructure,” a new documentary produced by Penn State Public Broadcasting that highlights the current state of the nation’s essential water, wastewater and storm water infrastructure.  Learn more about Liquid Assets at www.agc.org/liquidassets.

For additional information please contact Perry L. Fowler at fowlerp@agc.org or (703) 837-5321. [ return to top ]

  DHS Issues Supplemental Final Rule on 'No-Match' Letters; Fails to Address Small Employer Concerns
On October 23, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued the Supplemental Final Rule on “Safe Harbor Procedures for Employers Who Receive a No-Match Letter: Clarification; Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis.” The original rule was a concern to AGC and its members due to the lack of consideration for the impact on small businesses and the incorrect description of the changes by the Department of Homeland Security, potentially causing confusion in the enforcement of the rules. Despite numerous comments submitted by small employers at that time, the rule released today raises many of the same concerns. AGC will continue to review the new Supplemental Proposed Rule to determine its specific impact on employers in the construction industry.

The original rule was issued and intended to be implemented in 2007; however, a legal challenge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California delayed implementation. AGC supported the litigation against the rule because the rule and its proposed guidance document attempted to infer “constructive knowledge” that an employee was unauthorized to work in the U.S. simply through the receipt of a Social Security no-match letter.
 
The court delayed implementation due to: a failure by DHS to properly notify employers of unauthorized workers; issues surrounding the interpretation of anti-discrimination law; and the impact on small businesses. 

Click here to see the supplemental proposed rule.

For more information contact Jim Young at (202) 547-0133 or youngj@agc.org. [ return to top ]

  Final Rulemakings on E-Verify and Ethics Expected Shortly
AGC recently attended a meeting with the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) Council, where members of the Council reported that two proposed rules critical to contractors who perform federal work are under final review and could publish in the Federal Register in the next 45 days and no later than January 12, 2009.  The first rule would require contractors to verify the immigration status of their employees using the “E-Verify” system; the second rule would mandate additional ethics and compliance program requirements for Federal contractors.

It is widely speculated in the acquisition community that the Council and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are under pressure to approve the rule sooner rather than later.  AGC submitted comments on both proposed rulemakings and will continue to closely monitor their progress in order to keep AGC members informed.

For more information, contact Marco Giamberardino at (703) 837-5325 or giamberm@agc.org. [ return to top ]

  12 Days Until Election Day Have You Already Voted?
By November 4, one-third of all Americans casting votes will have already done so thanks to 31 states that allow voting early without an excuse. Early voting is especially important for the construction industry as it allows individuals who may not otherwise have time to vote on Election Day to vote early.

AGC has provided information for voting early, including each state’s requirements for voting, on the AGC Web site.

For more information contact Jim Young at (202) 547-0133 or youngj@agc.org. [ return to top ]