Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org November 29, 2012
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On the Inside
TAX
Fiscal Cliff Update and Request for Survey Participation
CONGRESS
House Republicans Choose Committee Chairs
AGC Presses For Small Business Reform in Senate
2012 ELECTIONS
Second AGC Member Elected to Congress
LABOR
AGC Opposes NAVFAC Project Labor Agreement Inquiry
AGC EVENTS
Register Now for AGC’s Winter Financial Issues Forum
Davis-Bacon Pitfalls & Hot Topics to Be Covered in AGC Webinar Dec. 11 and 13
Stormwater Compliance WEBINAR: New Templates To Help Contractors Meet Recordkeeping Requirements
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TAX
Fiscal Cliff Update and Request for Survey Participation
 

Congress and the White House are no closer to a deal on the fiscal cliff than they were before the election.  Each side continues to use the same talking points that they used in the campaign.  AGC and many other groups have been urging action on the fiscal cliff and urging Congress and the president to postpone the fiscal cliff and give themselves the time needed to get the full package done. In an effort to estimate the impact on the construction industry,please complete this short survey by Tuesday, December 4.  

Background on the Fiscal Cliff

Congress and the president are working to craft budgetary and fiscal legislation designed to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Such legislation would prevent across the board tax increases, address expired and expiring tax provisions and avoid sequestration. If they fail to act, the tax increases will hit all brackets (See chart below).  The current tax rates for investment income would also increase. The capital gains rate would rise from 15 percent to 20 percent and the dividend rate would increase from 15 percent to the taxpayer’s income bracket rate (potentially as high as 39.6 percent).

 


AGC has long been involved in this issue. We serve as a leader in the Tax Relief Coalition, a group of business associations formed in 2001 to assist in the enactment of the first round of Bush era tax cuts. In fact, every AGC chapter joined in that effort as a member of the Tax Reform Coalition. Since that time, we continued to play a successful role in getting additional tax cuts passed in 2003 and then extended in 2010. 

Over the past year, as Congress and the Administration moved closer to the edge of the fiscal cliff, we have been working as part of the Coalition to urge Congress to extend these tax cuts through 2013, extend all expiring and expired tax provisions (such as the Alternative Minimum Tax Patch) as well as delay the imposition of the mandatory sequestration cuts which include over $6 billion worth of cuts to key federal construction programs. Extending current tax rates through 2013 would give Congress the time needed to enact comprehensive tax, spending and entitlement reform that reduces the deficit, promotes sustainable economic growth and protects vital infrastructure investments.

AGC is working aggressively, in unison with the broader business community, to affect the outcome of these discussions.   Your survey responses will provide us with invaluable evidence we need to explain the dramatic economic impacts a hurried but economically devastating compromise or the fiscal cliff would have on the construction sector.

In addition, please consider taking a few minutes to complete AGC's 2013 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Survey. Your responses to the Outlook survey are vital to our ongoing advocacy work on the industry’s behalf.

Thank you in advance for your responses. And please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

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

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CONGRESS
House Republicans Choose Committee Chairs
Congressman Shuster Takes Over Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
 

This week, the House Republican Conference selected their nineteen committee chairmen for the 113th Congress.  Of the nineteen, seven will be new committee heads.  The new chairmen include Representatives Bill Shuster (Pa.) – Transportation and Infrastructure; Michael McCaul (Texas) – Homeland Security;  Ed Royce (Calif.) – Foreign Affairs; Jeb Hensarling (Texas)  – Financial Services; Robert Goodlatte (Va.) – Judiciary; Chris Smith (N.J.) – Science, Space and Technology; and Pete Sessions (Texas) – Rules.  The full list of House committee chairmen can be found here.  House Republicans are expected to make all of their committee assignments this week.

The next Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee, Rep. Shuster, previously served as Chairman of the T&I Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials and as Chairman of the T&I Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management. Shuster will be “Chairman-elect” until the start of the 113th Congress in January. Shuster replaces Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) who, under House Republican term limit rules, must step down from his leadership of the panel at the end of 2012.

Shuster demonstrated his desire to get a quick start in addressing issues that the T&I Committee will face in the 113th Congress by announcing the appointment of key senior staff to lead the Committee. Christopher Bertram, currently serving as the Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Transportation, will be the Committee Chief of Staff. Jim Tymon, who was the lead staff negotiator for the House during the Conference with the Senate for MAP-21, will continue to serve as senior advisor to the chairman and as the staff director of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee.

In accepting the appointment, Shuster said, “Transportation issues are among the most critical that we face in Congress and as a nation. Our transportation infrastructure is the backbone that supports economic growth and global competiveness.” AGC has worked very closely with Chairman-elect Bill Shuster in the past on transportation and other infrastructure issues, and looks forward to continuing this relationship in the year ahead. 

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

AGC Presses For Small Business Reform in Senate
 

On Nov. 27, AGC sent a letter to Senators urging their inclusion of small business reforms in the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA). Among those reforms, AGC especially urged inclusion of: (1) counting small business participation at lower tiers towards the federal small business procurement goals; and (2) addressing the definition a “bundled contract” to include contracts for construction services, thereby forcing federal agencies to justify why they bundle.

The House-passed version of the NDAA includes the contract bundling language AGC supports. As of publication, the Senate is still considering passage of its version of the NDAA. AGC testified before the House Small Business Committee earlier this year on these important reforms.

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

2012 ELECTIONS
Second AGC Member Elected to Congress
Patrick Murphy Declared Winner in Race to Represent Florida’s 18th Congressional District
 

Patrick Murphy (D), a member of South Florida Chapter-AGC, was elected to the U.S. Congress to represent Florida’s 18th Congressional district.  Murphy currently serves as vice president of Coastal Environmental Services, which specializes in disaster relief and environmental cleanup. It is an affiliate of Coastal Construction, one of the leading construction firms in the country, and has been named one of the nation’s top “Green Contractors".

Murphy joins Congressman-elect Markwayne Mullin (R) as the second AGC member elected to Congress for the first time this election cycle.

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

LABOR
AGC Opposes NAVFAC Project Labor Agreement Inquiry
 

On Nov. 19, AGC sent a letter opposing a government-mandated project labor (PLA) inquiry posted by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC). NAVFAC Southwest sought industry comments on a possible PLA for a project at the Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego, Calif. The job (solicitation number N6247312X1420) is for the replacement of the aging and seismically deficient fuel pier valued at approximately $72 million.

AGC neither supports nor opposes contractors’ voluntary use of PLAs on government projects, but strongly opposes any government mandate for contractors’ use of PLAs. AGC is committed to free and open competition for publicly funded work, and believes that the lawful labor relations policies and practices of private construction contractors should not be a factor in a government agency’s selection process.  

To view AGC’s letter, please click here.

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

AGC EVENTS
Register Now for AGC’s Winter Financial Issues Forum
Jan. 10-11, 2013 | Scottsdale, Arizona
 

 The AGC Financial Issues Forum will hold their winter meeting Jan. 10-11, 2013 in Scottsdale, Arizona at Hotel Valley Ho.  At this meeting, attendees will discuss numerous topics, including: the legislative and political landscape including the plans for comprehensive tax reform, an update of Federal Accounting Standards Board (FASB) activities, and a discussion on evolving construction tax issues.

To register for the meeting and for more information on hotel accommodations, airport information and more, please click here

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

Davis-Bacon Pitfalls & Hot Topics to Be Covered in AGC Webinar Dec. 11 and 13
 

AGC of America will provide its latest training on federal prevailing wage laws in a two-part webinar on Dec. 11 and 13, 2012, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. ET.  The format is different from previous years, offering new information for everyone involved in compliance with the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) on federal and federally assisted construction projects. 

The first session will address the Top 10 (or so) Pitfalls in Contractor Compliance.  Leading attorney and prevailing wage consultant Deborah Wilder will talk from her experience as president of Contractor Compliance & Monitoring, Inc. about the common problems plaguing construction contractors in compliance with the DBRA and how to avoid them.  She’ll cover such issues as ensuring compliance with flow-down requirements, how to make the conformance process work for you, the right way to complete certified payroll records, dealing with off-site operations, the treatment of truck drivers, and ascertaining the proper classification of your employees.

In the second session – Ask the Experts – a panel of authorities will briefly talk about the latest developments and hottest topics in federal prevailing wage law for construction and then devote the remainder of the session to answering audience questions.  Don’t miss this chance to go beyond the basics and ask the probing questions you have about DBRA.  Speakers will include Wilder along with Tim Helm, chief of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Branch of Government Contracts Enforcement, and  Natalie Boan, chief of the Department’s Branch of Construction Wage Determinations.  Ezequiel Arvizu, PHR, HCS, of Sundt Construction will moderate both sessions.

The registration fee for the two-part event is $149 for AGC members or $189 for nonmembers.  Purchase with the just-released 4th edition of AGC’s Davis-Bacon Compliance Manual and receive a discount!  The cost for both the webinar and the manual is just $199 for AGC members or $239 for nonmembers.

The program has been approved for 3 General recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

Click here for more information and online registration.

For assistance, please e-mail meetings@agc.org or call (703) 837-5356. Return to Top

Stormwater Compliance WEBINAR: New Templates To Help Contractors Meet Recordkeeping Requirements
Dec. 18, 2012 | 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. ET
 

Get prepared now!  Any construction company that wants to stay in compliance with the myriad of new and forthcoming stormwater runoff requirements needs an effective document management system. Sign up for AGC’s Dec. 18 stormwater compliance webinar and learn how to use brand new “template” documents – created by US EPA with assistance from AGC contractors – designed to keep projects in compliance. 

All stormwater permitting authorities (federal AND state) require a site-specific Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) as well documentation of inspections, findings, and the maintenance and repair of all BMPs. In the case of an audit or incident, government enforcers will want to see written proof of your compliance.

AGC’s Environmental Forum Steering Committee members have worked with US EPA staff to develop customizable “templates” to help contractors develop a SWPPP and document the site inspections and corrective actions required by EPA’s new 2012 Construction General Permit (CGP). (EPA’s federal stormwater permit serves a model for permits issued in states authorized to implement the federal stormwater program.) Participate in AGC’s Dec. 18 webinar to learn how to use these documents to keep your projects in compliance!

This webinar brings together the best line-up of speakers including US EPA’s Erika Farris, an essential player on the Agency’s stormwater team, and Bridget Supple, stormwater pollution prevention inspector at Vali Cooper & Associates.  These experts will explain how, with just a little bit of preparation and effort to keeping documentation of stormwater compliance activities, contractors can drastically reduce their potential for getting into trouble.

Let AGC Help You Bring Training To Your Employees!

AGC encourages its member companies to use this important webinar program as a training opportunity for their employees (e.g., people selected to conduct site inspections).  A single registration provides access to broadcast this webinar in a conference or meeting room and to invite others to participate.

Did you know?
The most common stormwater permit violations include lack of – or improper – documentation related to the site’s SWPPP, inspections, and corrective-action measures! NO RECORD = IT DIDN’T HAPPEN! Noncompliance can cost you $37,500 per day per violation. Learn more.


Please click here to register for this webinar.          

For more information, please contact Leah Pilconis, senior environmental advisor to AGC, at pilconisl@agc.org. Return to Top

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