Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org February 20, 2014
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On the Inside
FEDERAL CONTRACTING
Bill to Prohibit Reverse Auction Construction Procurement to Move in Congress
LABOR
AGC Joins Letter on DOL’s “Persuader” Rule
AGC EVENTS
AGC’s Annual Convention is Less Than Two Weeks Away
CONGRESS
Three Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Announce Retirements
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FEDERAL CONTRACTING
Bill to Prohibit Reverse Auction Construction Procurement to Move in Congress
Take Action: Urge Your Congressman to Support H.R. 2751
 

It is likely that at some point during the first week of March, the House Small Business Committee  will mark-up and vote on a bill to prohibit federal agencies from procuring construction services that small businesses could perform through reverse auctions. That bill, entitled the Common Sense Construction Contracting Act of 2013, H.R. 2751, was introduced by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.).  Please take action and urge your representative to cosponsor and support H.R. 2751.

The bill was introduced shortly after AGC’s May 2013 testimony on the need for this legislation in. AGC also testified before a joint House Veterans Affairs and House Small Business Committee hearing on the need to prohibit procurement of construction services through reverse auctions in December 2013.  Several agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of the Interior, are using reverse auctions to procure construction services for full-range construction projects, like complex and multifaceted building renovations valued at about $1 million. In addition, the General Services Administration launched its own online reverse auction platform—which includes the option of procuring construction services—for federal agency use last year.

Again, please, take action and urge your representative to cosponsor and support H.R. 2751. For more information, please see AGC’s summary on this issue and bill here.

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

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LABOR
AGC Joins Letter on DOL’s “Persuader” Rule
 

AGC joined 54 trades associations in a letter to the Department of Labor (DOL) on the proposed “persuader” rulemaking from the Office of Labor-Management Standards. The proposed rule would broaden reporting requirements of labor relations consultants (including attorneys and associations) who conduct activities to persuade employees concerning their rights to organize or bargain collectively and of the employers who receive assistance from such consultants. This rule would have a damaging impact on the construction industry for various reasons, including the unique features of labor relations and labor law in the construction industry and the rule's inclusion of association-provided advice and education as "persuader" activity.

According to the most recent regulatory agenda, the persuader rule is scheduled to be finalized next month. The same agenda has another proposed rulemaking scheduled for November that involves significant changes to a form that is integral to the persuader reporting process - Form LM-21. The letter states that the two rules should be consolidated for efficiency reasons and to provide the regulated industries an opportunity to fully assess the impact of the two rules. It also states that, if not withdrawn, the persuader rule should be delayed until DOL determines what changes will be made to the reporting form.

AGC first submitted comments to the proposed persuader rule in 2011 and will continue to evaluate how to respond when the final rule is issued.

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

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AGC EVENTS
AGC’s Annual Convention is Less Than Two Weeks Away
What Sessions You Should Not Miss
 

The AGC Annual Convention, held in Las Vegas, Nev., March 3-6, 2014, is the ideal opportunity to see everything that AGC can do for you and your business, as well as to learn from industry peers and experts on how they are overcoming today’s challenges.

Utility Infrastructure Division

There are several events Municipal & Utilities Contractors should be sure to catch. Members of the Utility Infrastructure Division Leadership will share their experiences climbing the construction industry ladder and advice for success in the session titled, Career Paths in Construction—A Roundtable Discussion on Monday from 2:00-2:45 p.m.  Each speaker offers a unique perspective and will showcase what they did right to advance to where they are and what they did wrong. Come hear the advice they wish they had gotten when they were starting out and ask questions (in person or through anonymous electronic means) in an informal setting. CLC and Student Chapter members are especially welcome!

The Utility Infrastructure Division Session, held Thursday from 8:30-10:00 a.m., will feature two topics of interest to utility contractors. First, as a sequel to the 2011 AGC Convention, we will have Jim Nickerson of Vegas Tunnel Contractors, LLC. back to update members on the progress of the water intake project for the Southern Nevada Water Authority. The group showcased the early stages of the tunnel to our group last time we were in Las Vegas, and are back with more progress and lessons learned. Second, Larry Mostoller of Somerset Regional Water Resources, LLC, will go into how the shale gas & hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) boom will affect the utility construction market over the next few years, both from a gas line installation perspective and a water treatment perspective.

Lastly, the 811 custom motorcycle is the industry's newest icon for Damage Prevention awareness.  Millions of fans of the TV show 'American Chopper' watched as the 811 Bike was built by Paul Junior Designs for One Call Concepts, Inc. in 2012 to help spread the word about calling 811 before any digging projects.  Since then, One Call Concepts has brought the 811 Bike from coast-to-coast, spreading the same safety-related message to hundreds of thousands of people all over the nation. And now it’s coming to the AGC Convention. The bike will be on display Monday through Thursday. Read more about the 811 Bike on Facebook at www.facebook.com/811bike.

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

Highway and Transportation Division

Deputy Transportation Secretary Victor Mendez will address the Highway and Transportation Division session on Thursday, March 6 from 10:30 a.m.-12:00 pm. to discuss MAP-21 implementation, the outlook for a Highway Trust Fund fix and enactment of transportation reauthorization legislation by the end of the fiscal year. The division will also discuss a concerted industry-wide grassroots initiative called “Hardhats for Highways” to push Congress for federal transportation funding.

In addition, two of the four new forums recently created in the Highway and Transportation Division have planned educational sessions. The Contracting Forum will be held Monday, March 3 from 9:00-10:30 a.m. and will feature the following:

  • State of Practice: Use of Design-Build and CMGC in Transportation Construction Projects
  • Design-Build Contracting: Working with a Public Owner vs. P3 Concessionaire
    • James Wallace- Granite Construction
  • Construction Manager/General Contractor: Advantages and Disadvantages from a Contractor’s Perspective
    • Cade Rowley - Sundt Construction
  • Design-Build/CMGC Contracting: A Regional Contractors Perspective
    • Scott Okelberry- W.W Clyde

The Technology Forum will be held on Monday from 1:00-2:30 p.m. and will feature the following:

  • Using a 3D Model for Estimating, Scheduling, Phasing and Construction Operations in Transportation Construction
    • Eric Cylwik – Sundt Construction
  • Latest Developments in Field Information Software
  • Managing Bulk Material and Trucking Operations
    • Alex Moody - Five Cubits
  • Safety Compliance and Project Management
    • Chris Henry - HCSS

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

Federal & Heavy Construction Division

This year’s convention will feature five sessions focused towards federal & heavy contractors.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Market Update will take place on Monday, March 3 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. The Chief of Construction from USACE Headquarters will address FY 2014-2015 projects the agency has scheduled for bid as well as contracting issues, including but not limited to source selection, multiple award contracting, BIM, and safety. In addition, attendees will review the USACE meeting draft agenda for AGC’s 2014 Federal Contractors Conference, where many of key USACE Headquarters officials and generals meet to discuss contracting issues in a round table environment.

The Reduced Footprint and Green Building Trends in the Federal & Private Markets session will be held on Monday from 10:30 am-12:00 p.m. Representatives from the General Services Administration, Turner Construction, DPR Construction and Holland & Knight LLP will present case studies on recent projects in the federal and private markets and reflect upon the ongoing reduction of square footage and green building trends.

The NAVFAC Market Update will also take place on Monday, from1:00-2:30 p.m.  Hear about the latest agency construction budget and new initiatives the Naval Facilities Engineering Command have on tap for 2014. In addition, attendees will review the NAVFAC meeting draft agenda for AGC’s 2014 Federal Contractors Conference, where many of key NAVFAC Headquarters officials and admirals meet to discuss contracting issues in a round table environment.

The final Monday session will be held from 1:00-2:30 p.m., focusing on a GSA/VA/NNSA Market Update. Hear about the latest agency construction budget and new initiatives the General Services Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and National Nuclear Security Administration have on tap for 2014. In addition, attendees will review meeting draft agendas for GSA, VA and NNSA at AGC’s 2014 Federal Contractors Conference, where many of key agency employees and admirals meet to discuss contracting issues in a round table environment.

On Thursday, March 6, the Federal & Heavy Construction Division will meet from 10:30 a.m-12:00 p.m.  If your company does work for federal agencies, this is the Division of AGC you should participate in and the meeting to attend. At this meeting, contractors will discuss the Division’s legislative and regulatory priorities for the year, hear about the federal construction budget for FY 2014-2015, and learn about new regulatory changes that will impact the marketplace in 2014.

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

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CONGRESS
Three Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Announce Retirements
 

CA-35

It's rare when a new member of Congress decides to forego a first re-election, but that is exactly what California Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod ((D-35)Chino) announced she will do.  Instead of remaining in the House, Ms. McLeod will run for an open seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.  Ms. McLeod won a hard fought general election for the new 35th District in 2012, defeating the nominal incumbent, then-Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA-43) by a huge 62-38 percent margin.

Prior to her service in Congress, Ms. McLeod served for twelve years in the California Senate and Assembly.  San Bernardino County is a municipality of 2.26 million people.  Each of the five-member Board of Supervisors represents more than 453,000 people, and is paid $150,000 per year.  Therefore, even though the congresswoman is leaving a federal post for one in local government, the influence of this panel is great and she will be one of five decision makers, instead of serving in a minority of 200 House Democrats.

The most likely congressional candidate to succeed Rep. McLeod is her successor in the state Senate, Democrat Norma Torres.  Others from both parties will certainly join the fray, but the Inland Empire district will again likely send two Democratic candidates to the general election.  

NJ-12

Rep. Rush Holt (D), one of the few scientists to ever grace the halls of Congress, announced that he will not seek a ninth term in the House later this year.  In a letter to supporters, Mr. Holt stated that, "[T]here is no hidden motive for my decision.  As friends who have worked with me know, I have never thought that the primary purpose of my work was re-election and I have never intended to make service in the House my entire career.  For a variety of reasons, personal and professional, all of them positive and optimistic, the end of this year seems to me to be the right time to step aside and ask the voters to select the next representative."

Mr. Holt was first elected to Congress in 1998, defeating one-term Rep. Mike Pappas (R) in what was then a lean Republican seat.  Two subsequent redistricting plans has made the central New Jersey 12th District solidly Democratic (Obama '12: 66.5%), so the party should have little trouble holding the district in an open configuration.

Already several Democratic potential candidates are coming to the forefront to express interest, including state Sen. Linda Greenstein, and Assembly Members Reed Gusciora, Upendra Chivukula, and Bonnie Watson Coleman, along with Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes.  

WA-4

Ten-term Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA-4), the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee opted not to seek re-election.  In addition to his current chairmanship, Mr. Hastings also served as chairman of the House Committee on Ethics.  Prior to his election to the House in 1994, Mr. Hastings served just under a decade in the Washington State House rising to Assistant Majority Leader and Republican Caucus Chairman.

The congressman is departing from the safest Republican seat in the state of Washington, so it is likely that the top GOP candidate will be the next congressional member.  We can expect several Republicans to come forward, with the first one already doing so.  State Senator Jenea Holmquist Newbry officially became the GOP's initial open seat contender followed by Tea Party candidate and former Washington Redskins player Clint Didier.

The three retirements now bring the grand total of House open seats to 39 for the cycle (23 Republicans and 16 Democrats), not counting the six positions that have already been filled in special elections since the 2012 general election.  Adding the 62 open seats from the 2012 cycle, the grand total of vacated seats since 2010 now reaches 107, an unusually high number.  With candidate filing deadlines only now beginning to close in the 50 states, it is reasonable to believe that the string of retirements announced since the beginning of this year has not yet ceased.

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

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