Contruction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.orgMarch 12, 2009
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On the Inside
CARD CHECK
"So-Called" Employee Free Choice Act Introduced; AGC Encourages Members to Continue to Speak Out Against the Legislation
WATER
House Passes Wastewater Infrastructure Reauthorization Bill
BUDGET
President Signs FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill
 
CARD CHECK
"So-Called" Employee Free Choice Act Introduced; AGC Encourages Members to Continue to Speak Out Against the Legislation
 

This week, the "so-called" Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) was introduced in both the House and the Senate. While H.R. 1409 had 223 cosponsors and S. 560 had 40 cosponsors, the total number of cosponsors was less than supporters had hoped, indicating that businesses and other groups in opposition are making a strong case to leaders on Capitol Hill.  AGC released a statement March 10 in response to the introduction of card check and announced that more than 10,000 AGC members had sent messages to Congress in opposition to the legislation.  That number has grown to over 14,000 in just three days.

This bill would deprive millions of employees the right to a private vote when deciding whether or not to unionize. It would hurt construction workers and make it very difficult for small construction companies to grow, hire or succeed. This legislation would also lead to federally mandated employment terms for construction firms.

Though most of the focus of this bill has been the impact on open shop employers and their employees, EFCA is also likely to have a negative effect on union contractors and their 8(f) "pre-hire agreements." Visit www.agc.org/efca to learn more about the impact of EFCA on union contractors.

AGC strongly opposes this legislation. Please continue to use AGC's Legislative Action Center to write and let your Members of Congress know your opposition to EFCA. The Senators in Colorado, Louisiana, Arkansas, Virginia, Nebraska and North Carolina are considered key in stopping EFCA from moving forward, but all Members of Congress need to hear from you. It is important to stress to your Senators that it is not enough just to oppose the bill, but to oppose any procedural votes such as cloture votes on EFCA.

For more information, contact Kelly Knott at (202) 547-4685 or knottk@agc.org. Return to Top

WATER
House Passes Wastewater Infrastructure Reauthorization Bill
 

The U.S. House of Representatives today approved a bill to reauthorize two federal programs that provide financing for wastewater infrastructure upgrades, repair and reconstruction.  The vote was 317 to 101 in support of H.R. 1262, the Water Quality Investment Act of 2009. 

The bill would provide a total of $19.4 billion over five years in authorization of appropriations for wastewater infrastructure projects, including $13.8 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) program.  These funds provide low-interest loans and additional loan subsidizations to communities for wastewater infrastructure. Funds are distributed to states based on a statutory formula and are made available through the annual appropriations process.  For a state-by-state breakdown of funding that is authorized, click here.
 
The bill also includes $2.5 billion for the sewer overflow control grants program.  This program provides grants to communities to control combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), which are overflows of untreated waste that can occur during wet weather events. 

For more information, contact Karen Lapsevic at (202) 547-4733 or lapsevick@agc.org. Return to Top

BUDGET
President Signs FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill
 

President Obama Wednesday quietly signed into law the $410 billion Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY 2009, officially completing work on last year’s budget process.  The Senate approved the bill late Tuesday, after delaying the vote on final passage for several days due to concerns over whether there were sufficient votes in the Senate to pass the bill and forcing Congress to enact a short-term resolution to fund the government through mid-week. 

An AGC analysis of the omnibus appropriations bill shows that Congress would increase funding for federal construction programs by 5.5 percent above the FY 2008 level.  AGC found that Congress provided $115.6 billion for federal construction programs in FY 2008.  The omnibus would provide $121.9 billion for the same accounts.  To view a chart comparing the amounts in the omnibus with the levels Congress enacted in FY 2008 and those President Bush recommended in his FY 2009 budget request to Congress, click here.

For more information, contact Karen Lapsevic at (202) 547-4733 or lapsevick@agc.org. Return to Top

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