Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org October 11, 2012
Spacer
AGC Home Page
Email our Editor
Search Back Issues
Forward to a Friend
Subscribe
Printer Friendly
AGC Political Toolkit
Advertisement
Take Action!
On the Inside
TRANSPORTATION
ACTION NEEDED: Submit Comments on DOT’s Proposed Significant Changes to DBE Program
BUDGET
House Appropriations Panel Leader Presses for Sequestration Solution
ENVIRONMENT
Preventing Regulation of Fly Ash as Hazardous Remains Top AGC Concern
2012 ELECTIONS
AGC Launches Election Center – Register to Vote Today
AGC EVENTS
AGC Webinar on DOTs New DBE Program Requirements
Register Now: AGC Webinar on Multiemployer Pension Plans - How to Prepare for the New Disclosure Rules
SAVE THE DATE: Free AGC Webinar on Sequestration and Its Potential Impacts to Construction
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
TRANSPORTATION
ACTION NEEDED: Submit Comments on DOT’s Proposed Significant Changes to DBE Program
 

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Sept. 6 asking for comments on the significant changes made to its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) rules. Comments are due by Nov. 5. The proposal suggests a series of changes in the bidding process, including requiring contractors to submit a list of DBEs that will be used on a project with their bid. Also, contractors that do not achieve this goal must submit documentation of good faith efforts with their bids. The proposed rule would also tighten down on the certification process that determines whether or not a firm qualifies as a DBE.

For more details on the proposed changes, please click here.  AGC will be hosting a webinar on the new program requirements on Oct. 16, 2012. For more information please read the story below. To register for the webinar now, please click here.

A task force of AGC members will be reviewing the NPRM to assist AGC in providing substantive comments to DOT on the proposed revisions.  AGC members and chapters are also encouraged to weigh in on the proposed rule changes. Go to AGC’s Legislative Action Center and submit comments directly to DOT from there. A sample letter has been prepared that you should customize to submit to DOT.  

For more information, please contact Brian Deery at (703) 837-5319 or deeryb@agc.org. Return to Top

Advertisement
BUDGET
House Appropriations Panel Leader Presses for Sequestration Solution
 

On Oct. 9, the ranking Democrat of the House Appropriations Committee Rep. Norm Dicks sent a letter urging his House colleagues to replace sequestration with a balanced approach to deficit reduction.  Unless Congress acts during the lame duck session, sequestration—a process of automatic and indiscriminate across-the-board cuts of $109 billion to defense and non-defense discretionary spending—would occur on Jan. 2, 2013. The Obama administration recently issued a preliminary report speculating figures of potential cuts to many, but not all, federal program accounts, including construction investment accounts.

Among his comments to his congressional peers, Rep. Dicks noted the harmful impact of the potential sequestration cuts on federal construction programs. Specifically, he highlighted the possibility of over $2 billion in cuts to military construction and nearly $196 million in cuts to the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water funds used to improve water and wastewater infrastructure. Furthermore, the congressman cited the “severe impact on employment in the construction industry” such cuts would bring.

AGC’s own analysis of the Obama administration’s preliminary sequestration report found the potential of over $5 billion in cuts to federal construction investment accounts. However, as previously noted, that administration report did not explicitly include all construction investment accounts, nor did it take into account the funding levels in the current FY 2013 continuing resolution, which funds government programs through March 27, 2013. Consequently, AGC estimates the actual cuts to federal construction programs would be higher than $5 billion in FY 2013.  Additionally, the administration report did not explicitly show cuts to the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water funds. To view AGC’s chart detailing some cuts to construction accounts detailing in the administration report, please click here.

AGC continues to advocate for sensible, long-term deficit reduction that takes into account the need for adequate investment to meet federal infrastructure and facility needs, in addition to comprehensive tax and entitlement reform. AGC holds that Congress should, at a minimum, delay sequestration in order to provide time to reach a more sensible approach.

For more information, please contact Jimmy Christianson at (703) 837-5325 or christiansonj@agc.org Return to Top

ENVIRONMENT
Preventing Regulation of Fly Ash as Hazardous Remains Top AGC Concern
 

While it’s unlikely that the issue will be raised during a lame duck session of Congress following the November elections, AGC will nevertheless continue to press for legislation that will keep the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating coal ash residues, including fly ash, as a hazardous substance. Legislation (H.R. 2273) to preempt EPA from regulating the waste as hazardous and instead empower states to establish disposal programs was passed with bipartisan support in the House last October. H.R. 2273 was added as an amendment to the House-passed version of the transportation reauthorization legislation. However, when the reauthorization bill – MAP-21 – was reported from the House- Senate conference committee, this provision was dropped.

In the Senate, a bill (S.1751) that mirrored the House bill was introduced by Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and received bipartisan support from nine co-sponsors (four Republicans, five Democrats). However, that bill failed to get any traction. On Aug. 2, Sen. Hoeven and a bipartisan group of Senators released a compromise bill (S.3512) with the hope of getting the votes necessary to pass it in this Congress. AGC has been working to garner co-sponsors – currently at 25 – and additional support for the Senate bill. If Congress fails to complete action on this legislation in the lame duck session, AGC will be pushing to have legislation enacted early in the 113th Congress. AGC members are urged to ask their Senators and Representatives to co-sponsor this legislation now and in the next Congress and to work for its enactment.

EPA began its work on a rule to regulate the disposal of coal ash following a December 2008 spill from an impoundment at a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) facility in Kingston, Tenn.  The containment failure released approximately a billion gallons of coal ash sludge into the adjoining rivers and neighborhood and put a national spotlight on impoundment and disposal practices. 

AGC submitted comments urging EPA to weigh the potential impacts of its regulatory options on the beneficial use of these materials and take into consideration the real environmental benefits of reusing these materials and the lack of negative reports (i.e., alleged or proven damage cases) associated with the beneficial use of fly ash in many construction applications including concrete and wallboard. AGC urged EPA to either rely on state requirements or establish non-hazardous waste requirements that protect the beneficial use of fly ash in construction. After pushing back its decision multiple times, a final rule is not anticipated until 2013.

For more information, please contact Brian Deery at (703) 837-5319 or deeryb@agc.org. Return to Top

2012 ELECTIONS
AGC Launches Election Center – Register to Vote Today
 

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, voters will elect thousands of state and local leaders, 435 U.S. Representatives, 33 U.S. Senators, 11 Governors and a President. Each and every one of these elected officials has the ability to positively or negatively shape legislation affecting our companies and our communities.

It is imperative that our colleagues, family and friends register to vote and go to the polls on Nov. 6.

Please visit ConstructionVotes.com for general information that will help you to prepare for the upcoming elections. This website is designed to encourage our members and their employees, regardless of political affiliations, to exercise their civic duty to learn about political issues and to vote their conscience on Election Day. This website does not endorse specific political candidates, parties or causes.

Here’s how you can help:

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

AGC EVENTS
AGC Webinar on DOTs New DBE Program Requirements
October 16, 2012 | 2:00–3:00 PM EDT
 

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) regulations apply not only to the federal-aid highway program but also to projects funded by the Federal Transit Administration and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program grants. While the program is not new, recent enforcement actions have made it clear that many contractors are not aware of what is required to comply. DOT recently proposed changes to the program that will make compliance even more difficult.

During this webinar, learn:

  • What efforts are you required to make in meeting your contract DBE goal?
  • What is your responsibility for ensuring that DBEs working on your projects perform a “commercially useful function?”
  • What Assistance can you give DBEs to help them perform their contracts?

To register for this webinar, please click here.

For more information, please contact Brian Deery at (703) 837-5319 or deeryb@agc.org. Return to Top

Register Now: AGC Webinar on Multiemployer Pension Plans - How to Prepare for the New Disclosure Rules
Are You Ready for FASB Update No. 2011-09?
 

New Financial Accounting Standards Board requirements (FASB No. 2011-09) have a significant impact on how employers participating in multiemployer pension plans disclose their involvement with those plans. Contractor firms must comply with new disclosure requirements for reporting periods ending after Dec. 15, 2012.

Join AGC’s legislative team and industry experts Michael J. Ellis and Jay Olson from Moss Adams LLP on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 2:00 PM EDT for this step-by-step overview of the new requirements and discussion on how firms can prepare for and present this information under the new requirements.

By attending this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the reasons for the expanded disclosures
  • Highlight applicable dates for the new FASB rules
  • Analyze what hasn’t changed and what’s new
  • Determine "significant" items and required disclosures

Efficiently and effectively apply the new standard

To register for this webinar, please click here.

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

SAVE THE DATE: Free AGC Webinar on Sequestration and Its Potential Impacts to Construction
 

AGC will hold a complimentary webinar on sequestration and its potential impact on federal construction contractors on Wednesday, Nov. 7 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT.  Unless Congress acts after the election, a process of $109 billion in indiscriminate, across-the-board spending cuts—called sequestration—will occur on Jan. 2, 2013. If sequestration goes into effect, the possible impacts to federal construction contracts, grants and direct payment programs could be far reaching.  

During the webinar, AGC’s Director of the Federal & Heavy Construction Division Jimmy Christianson and Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP partners Alan I. Saltman—an expert in government contract and appropriations law—and Steven L. Reed—a former Administrative Judge with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Board of Contract Appeals—will discuss the following:

  • How sequestration would work and the potential federal construction account cuts;
  • The latest D.C. discussions on the possibility of averting sequestration;
  • How sequestration would impact existing and new federal contracts, grants and direct payment programs; and
  • What contractors could expect to see from federal owners in an even leaner budget environment.

For more information, please contact Jimmy Christianson at (703) 837-5325 or christiansonj@agc.org. Return to Top

AGC Townhouse, 53 D Street SE • Washington, DC 20003 • 202.547.1625 (phone) • 202.547.1635 (fax)• www.agc.org
AGC Home | About AGC | Advocacy | Industry Topics | Construction Markets | Programs & Events | Career Development | News & Media

To ensure delivery of AGC’s Construction Legislative Week in Review, please add 'communications@agc.org' to your email address book or Safe Sender List. If you are still having problems receiving our communications, visit our white-listing page for more details.

© Copyright The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America. All Rights Reserved.