Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org August 30, 2012
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On the Inside
SAFETY
OSHA Issues Direct Final Rule for Cranes and Derricks
2012 ELECTIONS
GOP Platform Addresses Several AGC Priorities
Results from Tuesday’s Primary and Runoff Election
Will There Be a Recount in Georgia 12?
AGC EVENTS
Don’t Miss Out on AGC’s Compliance Webinar Series
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SAFETY
OSHA Issues Direct Final Rule for Cranes and Derricks
 

On Aug. 17, 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a direct final rule that will apply the requirements of the new cranes and derricks in construction standard – Subpart CC – to underground construction and demolition work.

The direct final rule will apply the crane rules already being used in construction to underground construction and demolition, and will eliminate the separate cranes and derricks standard – Subpart DD – currently used for underground and demolition work. This rulemaking will also attempt to correct several errors introduced in the 2010 rulemaking to make it easier for workers and employers to understand and implement these standards.  Currently, contractors performing underground construction and demolition work may have to comply with Subpart CC or Subpart DD depending on the activity.

The direct final rule will become effective Nov. 15, 2012, unless OSHA receives a significant negative comment(s) by Sept. 17. If the agency receives such comments, the notice of proposed rulemaking will allow the agency to continue the notice-and-comment component of the rulemaking by withdrawing the direct final rule.

For more information, please contact Kevin Cannon at (703) 837-5410 or cannonk@agc.org. Return to Top

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2012 ELECTIONS
GOP Platform Addresses Several AGC Priorities
 

The Republican platform that was adopted this week addressed several AGC priorities including: tax policy, labor and employment policies, infrastructure investment and energy. Here is a very short summary of specific issues address in the party platform:

Taxes: The platform includes a goal of a simplified tax system. It calls for extension of the Bush tax cuts, repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax, and elimination of the death or estate tax.   These are all part of the fiscal cliff facing the country at the end of 2012.  In addition, the platform includes the elimination of tax on capital gains, dividend and interest for lower income individuals and a 20 percent reduction in all rates.

Labor and Employment: The platform expresses opposition to card check, government mandated project labor agreements, and the repeal of Davis-Bacon wage rates.

Infrastructure: The platform expresses opposition to high speed rail, Amtrak and smart growth concepts.  It strongly expresses the importance of waste water and drinking water infrastructure, dams and ports.  It recognizes the role of infrastructure investment in promoting public health and economic development and makes positive statements about the important changes made in MAP 21 that provides states with flexibility and expedites the permitting process.  The platform also recognizes the need to identify a long-term source of funding for the highway trust fund. The platform does not identify a solution to the problem, but does specifically take one possible solution off the table saying that the solution should not be a vehicle miles traveled tax.

Energy: The platform endorses an all-of-the-above energy solution including expanding production of all domestic sources of energy and discourages market manipulation with permanent subsidies for some types of energy production.

Regulation: The platform takes a view that regulations need to be justified and limited.

AGC will do a similar analysis of the Democrats platform when it is adopted.

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

Results from Tuesday’s Primary and Runoff Election
 

Arizona

U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake handily won the Republican nomination for Senate, despite a competitive challenge early on from wealthy businessman Wil Cardon. Flake dominated the primary, beating three candidates with almost 70 percent of the vote. In the general election, Flake will compete against Democratic nominee Richard Carmona who ran unopposed in the primary. While Carmona has an impressive resume and Hispanic growth in Arizona could tilt the race in his favor, the high number of registered Republican voters gives Flake the advantage in the general election.

In Arizona’s 6th congressional district (CD), two freshmen faced off in a Republican member-member primary. The son of a two-term Vice President – Rep. Ben Quayle – lost to Rep. David Schweikert 47.3 percent to 52.7 percent. In what was a very negative primary race, Quayle’s pedigree and greater representation of the district were not enough to defeat Schweikert, who will likely be reelected this fall.

Other races worth mentioning in Arizona are CD 4, where AGC PAC-backed candidate Rep. Paul Gosar (R) survived a primary challenge; CD 5, where AGC PAC-backed candidate and ex-Congressman Matt Salmon (R) won the nomination over ex-AZ House Speaker Kirk Adams in an open seat; and CD 9, the newly added congressional district, where state Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D) won a 3-way primary.

Oklahoma

U.S. Rep. Dan Boren announced his retirement last summer, leaving an open seat in Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional district. Boren, a conservative Democrat, cousin to VP candidate Paul Ryan’s wife, and the only Democrat in Oklahoma’s congressional delegation, will be replaced by either Republican plumbing contractor Markwayne Mullin (AGC member), or former prosecutor and Democratic nominee Rob Wallace. Both candidates won their runoff elections Tuesday night. The demographic makeup of this district gives Republicans the electoral advantage in November.

Alaska and Vermont

Alaska and Vermont also held primaries on Tuesday. Vermont did not have any contested primaries except on the GOP side of the Senate race. John MacGovern won the nomination and will face Independent incumbent Bernie Sanders in November. In Alaska, the current U.S. Representative of the at-large district Don Young (R) won his 3-way primary and his general election opponent Sharon Cissna (D) won a 5-way Democratic primary. 

For more information, please contact David Ashinoff at (202) 547-5013 or ashinoffd@agc.org. Return to Top

Will There Be a Recount in Georgia 12?
 

On Aug. 21, voters in Georgia’s 12th congressional district went to the polls to cast their ballots in the Republican primary runoff election. This race was particularly important to AGC, as one of its own was vying for the opportunity to face Rep. John Barrow (D) in the general election.

AGC PAC-backed candidate Rick W. Allen, a former AGC - Georgia Branch President, was running against state Representative Lee Anderson in what was expected to be a close race. When the votes were counted on Election Night, just 154 votes separated the two candidates – a difference of less than one percent.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, the vote was:

  • Lee Anderson: 50.3%, 13,780
  • Rick W. Allen: 49.7%, 13,626

Anderson was declared the winner, but the election has yet to be certified. Overseas absentee and provisional ballots are still being tabulated.  According to a spokesman in the secretary of state’s office, there were 139 uncounted overseas and an unknown quantity of provisional ballots. It is expected the vote will be certified on Friday, at which time Mr. Allen will decide if he would like to proceed with a recount.

With the results still up in the air, one thing is for certain - Barrow is in for the fight of his life. After redistricting, only 53 percent of the old 12th District remains, creating a feeling that this is an open seat contest. In addition to significant district boundary changes, the new district voted 55.6 percent for McCain in the 2008 presidential election. In fact, during the last two presidential elections, the district voted 10 points more Republican than the national average. For Republicans, the 12th district represents one of the better pickup opportunities for a House seat against an incumbent Democrat.

For more information, please contact David Ashinoff at (202) 547-5013 or ashinoffd@agc.org. Return to Top

AGC EVENTS
Don’t Miss Out on AGC’s Compliance Webinar Series
 

The next webinar in AGC’s 8-part webinar series titled “Walking the Compliance Tightrope: How to Meet the Strict Legal Standards for Government Work,” will be focused on preventing Illegal Gratuities, Kickbacks and Bribes.  This webinar will take place on Sept. 13 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. EDT. Contractors working for federal, state and local governments have to comply with a wide variety of statutes, ordinances, executive orders, regulations and other measures intended to require ethical business practices. Conduct that private owners would readily accept, and might even welcome, can lead public owners to impose significant penalties, to consider suspensions and debarments, and even to consider criminal charges. This webinar will focus on the activities that public owners put into the potentially devastating categories of illegal gratuities, kickbacks and bribes.

To register for this webinar, please click here.

For more information, please contact Brynn Tupper at (703) 837-5376 or tupperb@agc.org. Return to Top

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