Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org September 2, 2010
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On the Inside
CONGRESS
AGC Members Give Hawaii Congressman Djou Construction Site Tour in Honolulu
SAFETY
Review Commission Upholds OSHA's Multi-employer Citation Policy
TRANSPORTATION
Campaign for Highway and Transportation Bill Continues in Columbia, S.C.
FEDERAL
Corps of Engineers Withdraws PLA Requirement on Army Reserve Project
ELECTIONS
Another Election Surprise in Alaska
CONGRESS
AGC Members Give Hawaii Congressman Djou Construction Site Tour in Honolulu
 

Pictured L-R (all from Watts Constructors, LLC)
Ryan Terayama, Project Manager; Bill Gulstrom, Quality Control Manager; Congressman Charles Djou; Denny Watts, President; Daniel Kelly, Project Engineer;Tony McCullough, Project Superintendent

On Friday, August, 27, Congressman Charles Djou (R-Hawaii) toured a construction job in Honolulu, Hawaii. AGC member company Watts Constructors, LLC, hosted the Congressman at the Arizona Memorial Visitor Center Replacement project. 

AGC encourages members to host Members of Congress at job sites around the country to help educate them about the construction industry and to demonstrate how decisions made in Washington, D.C., affect our industry.  

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

SAFETY
Review Commission Upholds OSHA's Multi-employer Citation Policy
 

The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission upheld OSHA's multi-employer citation policy in a reversal of a decision the Commission made during the previous administration. Under the policy, OSHA inspectors may cite employers on multi-employer worksites for violations that do not expose their own workers to occupational hazards. For example, a general contractor who controls the worksite may be responsible for violations created by a subcontractor whose workers are exposed to safety or health hazards.

In reaching its Aug. 19 decision, the Commission agreed with an earlier decision by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which had rejected the Commission's previous contrary view that employers are only legally responsible for protecting the safety and health of their own workers. The case under consideration involved Summit Contractors Inc., a general contractor constructing an apartment complex in Lebanon, Pa., in 2005. An OSHA compliance officer cited Summit for a safety violation after observing workers of a subcontractor using electrical equipment that lacked ground fault circuit interrupters and had been brought onto the worksite by Summit.

For questions and comments, please contact Kevin Cannon at cannonk@agc.org. Return to Top

TRANSPORTATION
Campaign for Highway and Transportation Bill Continues in Columbia, S.C.
 

Casey Schwager of AGC member company Sloan Construction leads Congressman James Clyburn on a tour of the company's Columbia, S.C., asphalt plant.

The Transportation Construction Coalition and Americans for Transportation Mobility continued efforts for passage of the long-delayed highway and transit bill on Tuesday with the unveiling of new billboard and online advertisements in Columbia. Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) participated in the event and shared his support for passing a multi-year surface transportation bill. Clyburn agreed that enacting a highway and transit bill will be the best boost we can give to the economy right now.

The effort, which will cover dozens of states during the coming weeks, is designed to educate the public about why passing a federal transportation bill is essential to improving road conditions in states like South Carolina.

In mid-August, AGC helped launch the multi-state campaign in South Dakota, and will unveil new ads in Iowa next week.

Read about the effort and take action here.

The news was covered by several local television stations, including WBTV,WACH andWSAV, in addition to the Charleston Post and Courier, Columbia Business Report and Charleston Regional Business Journal, to name a few.

For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at (202) 547-8892 or oneills@agc.org. Return to Top

FEDERAL
Corps of Engineers Withdraws PLA Requirement on Army Reserve Project
 

Once again, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) initially required that a contractor submit an executed project labor agreement (PLA), this time on an Army Reserve project in Los Alamitos, California.  Over the past week, AGC members and staff made inquiries to the Louisville District Command in charge of the project, demanding justification for including a PLA mandate in a solicitation. Like previous efforts, the inquiries questioned how it determined that the conditions listed in President Obama's executive order on PLAs were present. On September 1, USACE informed potential bidders that the requirement had been removed. 

AGC pointed out that the executive order leaves the agency free to refrain from requiring a PLA on the Patrick Air Force Base project and that it permits the agency to require a PLA only if the USACE has determined that all of the following conditions exist:

1.    The project will cost the federal government $25 million or more;
2.    Use of a PLA on the project will advance the federal government's interest in achieving economy and efficiency in federal procurement;
3.    Use of a PLA on the project will advance the federal government's interest in producing labor-management stability;
4.    Use of a PLA on the project will advance the federal government's interest in ensuring compliance with laws and regulations governing safety and health, equal employment opportunity, labor and employment standards, and other matters; and
5.    Use of a PLA will be consistent with law.

This is the latest of AGC's continuing efforts to educate government agencies about PLA issues and implications.  While AGC neither supports nor opposes PLAs in general, AGC strongly opposes government mandates for PLAs on publicly funded construction projects.  AGC is committed to free and open competition in all public construction markets and believes that publicly funded contracts should be awarded without regard to the lawful labor relations policies and practices of the government contractor.

For more information, contact Marco Giamberardino at (703) 837-5325 or giamberm@agc.org. Return to Top

ELECTIONS
Another Election Surprise in Alaska
 

 

Following the weeklong process of counting the absentee ballots for Alaska’s primary, Fairbanks Attorney General, Joe Miller (R), was pronounced the official winner of the Alaska Republican senatorial primary by a mere 1,469 votes.  The Alaska Secretary of State announced on August 31, just seven days following the primary election, that Miller, the “Tea Party” candidate who was endorsed by former vice presidential candidate and former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, had defeated sitting senior Senator Lisa Murkowski (R).  Murkowski was first appointed to the Senate seat in 2002 by her father, Frank Murkowski, who vacated the Senate seat after he was elected Governor.

Louisiana held its primary on August 28 and announced current Senator David Vitter (R) would remain the party’s nominee on the ticket.  Vitter beat out two opponents – Nick Accardo and Chet Traylor – with an overwhelming 88 percent of the vote.

West Virginia held a special Senate primary election on Saturday, August 28, to decide on two party nominees to fill the seat of late Sen. Robert Byrd (D).  Republicans chose businessman John Raese, who will face current West Virginia Democrat Governor Joe Manchin in November.

September 14, the second “Super Tuesday” primary date is right around the corner.  Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin will all vote.  Please deliver AGC PAC checks for any candidates in these states before the primary date.  For any other state, please deliver AGC PAC checks before September 30, the FEC filing deadline for campaigns.

The final state primary prior to November’s general election will be held September 18, in Hawaii.

For more information, contact Blair Hood at (202) 547-5013 or hoodb@agc.org. Return to Top

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