Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org August 18, 2011
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On the Inside
TAX
AGC Urges Continued Push on 3 Percent Withholding During August
ADMINISTRATION
Federal Agencies Told to Cut 2013 Budgets by OMB
President Obama to Outline New Jobs Proposals in Speech after Labor Day
AGC and Coalition Finalize Comments Opposing National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Efforts to Accelerate Union Elections
AGC Continues Successful Effort to Deter Federal Agencies from Using Project Labor Agreements
AGC EVENTS
Register and save now for the 15th Annual AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference
Registration Open for AGC’s Joint Highway and Utilities Contractors Issues Meeting
OSHA Inspection Webinar: Prepare to Deal with Today's Realities
TAX
AGC Urges Continued Push on 3 Percent Withholding During August
 

With the Congressional August recess in full swing, AGC urges its members and chapters to contact their Senators and Representatives to ask that they cosponsor legislation to repeal the 3 percent withholding mandate.

To date, 221 representatives – more than half of the U.S. House – have signed on in support of a bill that would repeal the 3 percent withholding mandate, and there are 29 senators behind similar legislation in the U.S. Senate.  Unfortunately, despite this strong showing of support, Congress has yet to schedule debate on this issue.  

AGC members and the construction industry have been at the forefront of the repeal campaign.  As such, AGC continues to ask its members to contact their elected officials and to reach out to local stakeholders and state and local agencies to let them know how 3 percent withholding will affect their businesses and why it should be repealed. 

Use AGC’s 3 percent withholding website to find additional resources including talking points, IRS regulations, videos on the impact of this legislation, letters sent to Congress by AGC, and ways to become involved.  Please continue to make contact with your legislators and encourage your employees to do the same by using AGC’s Legislative Action Center.

For a list of cosponsors in your state, please click here.

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

ADMINISTRATION
Federal Agencies Told to Cut 2013 Budgets by OMB
 

A memo released on Aug. 17 by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Jacob Lew could lead to more cuts to federal construction accounts in the coming years.  The memo directed all federal agencies to plan a 2013 budget that is at least 5 percent below their current spending level, and to identify additional savings to bring their 2013 budget requests to at least 10 percent below FY 2011 appropriation levels.

OMB is asking the agencies to identify programs that can be eliminated or integrated into another program and also identify programs that are cost-effective and provide economic growth opportunities to help provide the president with the necessary information to reduce the federal deficit while still creating economic growth.

When identifying the 10 percent savings, agencies cannot propose across-the-board reductions or reductions to mandatory spending.  Agencies are also not allowed to reclassify current discretionary spending into mandatory spending or include new user fees to offset existing spending.  These reduction proposals, however, can be included as alternatives to their main cuts to spending in their budget requests for 2013.

AGC will continue to meet with the agencies and Congress to promote construction spending and minimize the impact these cuts may have on the construction industry.

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

President Obama to Outline New Jobs Proposals in Speech after Labor Day
 

The White House announced that President Obama plans to deliver a speech after Labor Day aimed at jump-starting the economy.  The speech will outline two different goals.  The first would produce jobs and increase economic growth. The second would guide the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction on ways to reduce the federal deficit. 

The speech comes on the heels of criticism from Republicans that the president has repeatedly failed to outline a plan to end the economic recession.  White House officials say that the president has mapped out a series of small proposals in the past few months that Republicans have rebuffed, including trade deals and an extension of the payroll tax cut.

As the campaign for 2012 begins to take shape, Obama’s base is calling for him to be more aggressive in pushing his economic agenda.  Democrats hope this speech will set a campaign platform for job creation and economic growth as the GOP presidential candidates begin to criticize the administration for the way they have dealt with the economic recession.

There is no set date for the speech as of yet, however White House officials say it will be given following Labor Day.  AGC is preparing information for the administration to consider as they develop these proposals and will share similar information with the Joint Committee.

For more information, please contact Jeff Shoaf at (202) 547-3350 or shoafj@agc.org. Return to Top

AGC and Coalition Finalize Comments Opposing National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Efforts to Accelerate Union Elections
Join the effort by sending a letter before Monday, August 22
 

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a proposal to amend union representation election procedures to allow for quicker elections, ultimately making it easier for unions to organize the employees of open shop contractors or to shore up relationships with union contractors that have prehire agreements. 

The proposal would:

  • Shorten the time between a union’s filing of a petition for an election and the election itself, thereby limiting an employer’s ability to communicate with employees about the impact of unions and collective bargaining.
  • Eliminate pre-election hearings, forcing employers to expend time and financial resources rapidly preparing for an election that may include serious procedural issues and may ultimately be overturned. 
  • Require employers to increase disclosures of employee contact information, making it easier for union organizers to communicate with employees and invading employees’ privacy.
  • Make post-election review by the Board discretionary, increasing the likelihood of inconsistent decisions.

Action Needed:

AGC and 261 other members of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace finalized comments opposing the NLRB’s efforts to accelerate union elections. There is still time to send your comments as well. 

Please take a brief moment to voice your opinion and tell these regulators to stop pushing “card check.”  At the same time, you can tell your legislators about these harmful proposed regulations and other pending attacks on business.

To submit your comments, please click here.

For more information contact Jeff Shoaf at Shoafj@agc.org. Return to Top

AGC Continues Successful Effort to Deter Federal Agencies from Using Project Labor Agreements
 

AGC is again attacking agency efforts to use Project Labor Agreements on federal construction projects.  This week AGC sent two more letters questioning the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) potential use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on upcoming construction projects. These letters are the latest of AGC’s continuing successful efforts to educate government agencies about PLA issues and implications:  

  • On July 27, 2011, AGC sent a letter to the New Orleans District of the USACE providing comment on their solicitation regarding the potential use of PLAs on the Southeast Louisiana Drainage Project in Orleans Parish, La.
  • On Aug. 11, 2011, AGC sent a letter to the Omaha District of USACE providing comment on their solicitation regarding the potential use of PLAs for the B-52 Two-Bay Phase Maintenance Dock in Minot, N.D. 

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

AGC EVENTS
Register and save now for the 15th Annual AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference
Oct. 26-28, 2011, Las Vegas, Nev.
 

Jointly sponsored by the AGC and the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), the 15th Annual AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference, offers programs and workshops designed specifically for financial professionals in the construction industry. 

Register before Friday, Sept. 9, 2011 for special “Early Bird” discounts.  Additional discounts are available for first-time attendees and for subsequent registrations from the same firm.  Register now and your savings may be as much as $260 – or 30 percent – off the standard registration fee.

The three-day conference features 38 interactive sessions covering the latest industry issues and their financial implications.  Participants may earn up to 20 continuing professional education (CPE) credits. 

This year’s sessions include:

  • Construction industry market trends
  • Tax, surety, financial, and credit market updates
  • Health care reform
  • Fleet management
  • Construction insurance and risk management
  • Financial statements
  • Construction information technology
  • Ethics and fraud
  • Crisis survival

Owners, chief financial officers, controllers, treasurers, certified public accountants, auditors, consultants, bankers, sureties, and others interested in the construction financial management will greatly benefit from this conference.

For more information, and to register on-line, visit www.agc.org/AGC_CFMA. Return to Top

Registration Open for AGC’s Joint Highway and Utilities Contractors Issues Meeting
Nov. 10-12, 2011, Palm Springs, Calif.
 

The premier event of the year for contractors involved in highway, bridge and utility construction is scheduled for Nov. 10-12, 2011, in the Palm Springs Valley of California. The Highway and Utilities Contractors Issues Meeting will address the many issues that will be impacting your business over the next year and in years to come.

Topics that will be addressed included:

  • Congressional outlook for highway and water authorization legislation
  • Federal highway and water infrastructure funding
  • Successful efforts to increase state highway funding
  • Responding to Labor Compliance Audits
  • EPA’s new storm water regulations practical strategies to comply
  • Project Case Studies
  • Are veteran’s business preferences on the horizon
  • Contractor’s view working as part of a public-private partnership
  • Other recent developments

Date: Nov. 10-12, 2011
Where: Indian Wells, Calif.
Hotel: Miramonte Resort and Spa
Schedule: The meeting begins with a shotgun start of the golf tournament at 12:30 pm on Thursday, Nov. 10 and concludes at Noon on Saturday, Nov. 12.

To register and for information on hotel reservations, please click here.

For more information, please contact Scott Berry at (703) 837-5321 or berrys@agc.org or Brian Deery at (703) 837-5329 or deeryb@agc.org.   Return to Top

OSHA Inspection Webinar: Prepare to Deal with Today's Realities
Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, 2:00PM- 3:30PM EDT
 

Inspections have been affected by OSHA's scrutiny of state plan operations. As a contractor, it’s important to make sure your field personnel and senior managers have the knowledge they need to meet standards.  Join Stephen Yohay, of the Ogletree Deakins law firm, as he explains the OSHA standards and provides tips about the new process and how your worksite can be prepared.

OSHA Inspections Webinar - Prepare to Deal with Today's Realities will exhibit OSHA's inspection process as it applies to construction worksites, including how the current administration's assertive enforcement approach has affected the conduct of investigations. Stephen Yohay will also review OSHA’s Multi Employer Enforcement Policy, OSHA’s recent enforcement initiatives such as the Severe Violators Program, and how OSHA inspections in State Plan states have been affected. So ensure that your worksite is up to “specs” and don’t miss out on this valuable webinar. Register today!

For more information, please contact Kristal Shavers at (703) 837-5372 or shaversk@agc.org. Return to Top

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