Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org October 18, 2012
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On the Inside
WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
Forty More Years of Progress on Water Infrastructure
TRANSPORTATION
ACTION NEEDED: Submit Comments on DOTís Proposed Stringent Changes to DBE Program
HEALTHCARE
Health Care Update on Employer Coverage Requirements and Taxes under the Affordable Care Act
2012 ELECTION
Election Day is Rapidly Approaching
Presidential Debate #2
AGC EVENTS
Last Chance to Attend the 16th Annual AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference
Donít Miss Out on the Highway and Utilities Contractors Issues Conference
Register for FREE AGC Webinar On Sequestration and Its Potential Impacts to Construction
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WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
Forty More Years of Progress on Water Infrastructure
 

Forty years ago today, the primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution went into effect. The Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972, known as the Clean Water Act (CWA), became law after the bill was vetoed by President Nixon. In a tradition that continues to this day, the legislation was spurred on by bipartisan support and public opinion. The House and Senate overrode the President’s veto on Oct. 18, 1972 by an overwhelming 10-1 margin, thus enacting the bill into law.

Today’s modern water infrastructure programs that grew out of the original CWA have a rich history and enjoy both public support and a legacy of success. These programs, like the State Revolving Loan Funds (SRFs) and their predecessor, the Construction Grants Program, are recognized as the most successful federal water quality funding programs in the nation’s history. The country must build on this legacy by making needed investments to ensure these successes do not evaporate over the next forty years.  Please click here to read more.

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

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TRANSPORTATION
ACTION NEEDED: Submit Comments on DOTís Proposed Stringent Changes to DBE Program
More than 50 Comments Already Submitted
 

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. 

A task force of AGC members will be reviewing the NPRM to assist AGC with writing substantive comments to DOT on the proposed revisions. AGC members and chapters are also encouraged to weigh in on the proposed rule changes. More than 50 comments have already been submitted to DOT – please submit your comments today. 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 before it is sent to the DOT.  

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

HEALTHCARE
Health Care Update on Employer Coverage Requirements and Taxes under the Affordable Care Act
 

AGC is a member of the Employers for Flexibility in Health Care (EFHC), a coalition of leading trade associations and businesses that has been trying to work with   the Administration as they implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) to help ensure that employer-sponsored coverage remains a competitive option for all employees, whether they are full-time, part-time, temporary, or seasonal workers.  Although many uncertainties remain regarding the law and possible changes to it, fast approaching deadlines are requiring employers to begin work to implement relevant portions of the law within their company.

A recent article from Ernst & Young – “Employer  coverage requirements and taxes under the Affordable Care Act” – provides  a summary of: the major employer coverage requirements under the act; a timeline of compliance deadlines and summary of new reporting requirements; analysis of considerations related to employer-sponsored coverage for part-time workers and employers’ communication with employees; and an  analysis of how new employer coverage requirements under the affordable care act will translate to the assessment of taxes under the law.

For more information, please contact Jim Young at (202) 547-0133 or youngj@agc.org. Return to Top

2012 ELECTION
Election Day is Rapidly Approaching
 

There are only 17 days left until voters head to the polls to 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 the construction industry, your companies and your communities.

It is imperative that AGC members register to vote and go to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Thanks to the many chapters and members who provided us with examples of how they have forwarded the link to ConstructionVotes.com.  If you have not done so, 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 duties, learn about political issues and vote their conscience on Election Day. This website does not endorse specific political candidates, parties or causes.

Your help is needed:

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

Presidential Debate #2
 

On Tuesday night, President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney met for the second of three presidential debates.  This debate had a town hall format and featured questions from non-committed voters on a variety of topics ranging from assault weapons and gas prices to immigration and tax policy. 

Going into the debate, Obama understood he needed an alternative strategy to the one he used in the first debate.  The conventional wisdom was that Obama would engage Romney more aggressively and would seek to discredit him as a viable alternative. For Romney, most believed he would continue employing the strategy which brought him success in the first debate.

In little time, both men became confrontational, oftentimes speaking over each other and moderator Candy Crowley. It was a rancorous 90 minutes with no “gotcha” moments or zingers.  Perhaps the most interesting point in the debate was when Crowley interjected, telling Romney that he was incorrect on the language the president used in a statement on Libya. Crowley had to later issue a correction to her statement as Romney’s statement was technically correct.

So who won?  Well, both sides believed their candidate did, but Independents gave a slim-margin win to Obama. Politically, Obama needed a knock-out performance to counter the momentum Romney gained following the first debate. This did not happen and it appears that Romney actually gained a point in the latest Gallup national poll.  He now leads Obama 52 to 45. Romney has also been able to close the gap in many battleground states. For instance, Governor Romney is now leading the president in the Electoral College estimate by Real Clear Politics, 206 to 201 (it takes 270 to win). Since the beginning of October, the Real Clear Politics estimate now shows Missouri and North Carolina shifting to lean Romney and it shows Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin shifting from lean Obama to toss-up.  Since this is just an estimate, it should not be a surprise that other sources score the race differently.  For instance, the New York Times estimates the race at 237-191 in favor of President Obama.  This difference is attributed to the New York Times rating of Michigan and Pennsylvania as “lean Democrat” and North Carolina as a “toss up.”  What both the estimates do show is a race that keeps getting tighter as we near Election Day.

The final debate in the presidential series will take place on Monday, Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.  It will be moderated by Face the Nation Host Bob Schieffer and will focus on foreign policy. 

Final Debate:

Date: Monday, Oct. 22 from 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time

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

AGC EVENTS
Last Chance to Attend the 16th Annual AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference
 

Jointly sponsored by AGC and the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), the 16th Annual AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference  will be held Oct. 24-26 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nev. This three-day conference offers programs and workshops designed specifically for financial professionals in the construction industry. The 36 interactive sessions will cover the latest industry issues and their financial implications.  Participants have the opportunity to earn up to 19 continuing professional education (CPE) credits. 

Register online at www.agc.org/AGC_CFMA.

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

Donít Miss Out on the Highway and Utilities Contractors Issues Conference
 

The 2012 Highway and Utilities Contractors Issues Conference will be held Nov. 1-3, 2012, at the Miramonte Resort and Spa in Indian Wells, Calif.  The conference will focus on new technologies, the elections and their impact on the construction industry, Congress and its impact on utility and transportation funding, and environmental and other regulatory developments.

To register for the conference, please click here.


For more information please contact Brian Deery at (703) 837-5319 or
deeryb@agc.org or Scott Berry at (703) 837-5321 or berrys@agc.org. Return to Top

Register for 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. ET.  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.  To attend the webinar, please complete the online registration form.

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:

  • How sequestration would work and the potential federal construction account cuts;
  • The latest D.C. discussions on and 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.

Again, to attend the webinar, please complete the online registration form.

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

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