Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org April 17, 2014
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On the Inside
TRANSPORTATION
AGC Leaders Hear From U.S. DOT Secretary
Donít Forget to Meet with Your Federal Reps and Deliver the Hardhats for Highways Message
US DOT Updates Highway Trust Fund Ticker
2014 ELECTIONS
Scott Brown Enters the New Hampshire Senate Race
LABOR
AGC-Opposed Paycheck Legislation Stalls in Senate
AGC EVENTS
Registration Opens for the AGC Summer Financial Issues Forum
Federal Contractors Conference: Early-Bird Discount Expires SOON!
TRANSPORTATION
AGC Leaders Hear From U.S. DOT Secretary
 

Today, Highway and Transportation Division Chairman Tom Case of Granite Construction, along with division leaders, hosted United States Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on a conference call to hear an outline of the administration’s soon-to-be-released surface transportation reauthorization proposal.

Secretary Foxx is in the midst of a week-long bus tour across eight states where he is trying to build support for the administration’s proposal and bring attention to the looming Highway Trust Fund insolvency.  During the call, AGC Highway and Transportation Division leaders had the opportunity to ask questions of Secretary Foxx on issues ranging from DOT’s proposed rule on the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program to why the administration’s proposal places a significant increase on high-speed rail and Amtrak.  Division leaders made it clear that AGC supports a growing revenue source for the Highway Trust Fund that will provide continuity in the program and allow for a multiyear reauthorization of MAP-21.

AGC is appreciative of the administration’s call for a robust reauthorization of MAP-21 and is committed to working with them and both parties in Congress to identify a suitable revenue source for the Highway Trust Fund.

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

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Donít Forget to Meet with Your Federal Reps and Deliver the Hardhats for Highways Message
District Work Period: April 14-25, 2014
 

Your Senators and Representatives are currently working in your home districts.  Set aside time to meet with them now through Friday, April 25 and discuss the importance federal highway funding has on your company and your job. Make an appointment to visit the District office closest to you. Bring this informational leave-behind and a company hardhat with the “Hardhats for Highways” decal affixed listing the number of jobs in your company that will be affected if funding is cut off. While these are the best times to visit, don’t hesitate to set up appointments at other times and visit with their staff.

If you have already met with your members of Congress, please take a moment and report your deliveries to us so we may continue to educate Congress here in Washington, D.C.  You may report your visits including: the date of your meeting, the Congressional office you visited, with whom you met, the number of jobs indicated on your hardhat, and, if possible, a photo capturing the exchange to brynn.huneke@hardhatsforhighways.org. Your deliveries will be tallied on www.HardhatsforHighways.org through the Jobs Tracker tool.

We are concerned about the impact the looming Highway Trust Fund shortfall is having on our business decisions and state transportation programs.  Please take a moment to complete this survey to help us raise awareness of the impacts of this crisis.  The information received from the survey will be shared with members of Congress as they debate how to avoid the looming shortfall.

It is never too late to get involved. To date, Hardhats for Highways has already distributed 14,000 hardhat decals to companies in the construction industry. More than 3,500 “e-Hardhat” letters have been sent to 365 different Congressional offices in 46 states.

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

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US DOT Updates Highway Trust Fund Ticker
August Shortfall Predicted
 

This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) updated their Highway Trust Fund Ticker, where they continue to project a shortfall before the end of August.  DOT estimates that the balance will dip to $5 billion in June and could dip below $4 billion in July, possibly forcing them to delay payments to states for highway and transit projects.

The coming weeks and months are critical in determining whether Congress provides a short- or long-term fix for the Highway Trust Fund.  Through the Hardhats for Highways campaign, AGC is asking members of Congress to fix Highway Trust Fund and provide the revenue necessary to for a robust multi-year reauthorization of the federal transportation funding bill, MAP-21.

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

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2014 ELECTIONS
Scott Brown Enters the New Hampshire Senate Race
 

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R) is now an official Senate candidate in New Hampshire.  Two public polls are currently showing a varying lead for incumbent Jeanne Shaheen (D).

Public Policy Polling, conducting a survey for the League of Conservation Voters (4/7-8; 1,034 NH registered voters), finds Sen. Shaheen ahead by 49-41 percent, significantly beyond the margin of polling error.  The two candidates' favorability scores are vastly different, however.  Sen. Shaheen has a 47:46 percent positive to negative job approval ratio, whereas Mr. Brown records a poor 35:49 percent rating.

In a similar time frame, the University of New Hampshire (4/1-9; 507 NH adults; 387 registered voters), finds a tighter 45-39 percent ballot test, and much different favorability scores for both individuals.  According to UNH, the Senator has a much better 49:35 percent job approval index, and Mr. Brown records a significantly improved 39:29 percent positive to negative personal favorability score.

Though the ballot tests are in the same relative range, the favorability ratings for both candidates are widely divergent.  Public Policy Polling typically skews negative on most job and personal favorability ratios, so it is not surprising that they found a similar result in this case.  Though UNH has not proven to be a particularly reliable pollster, their favorability ratings seem more believable than the consistently upside down scores that PPP routinely records.

The two polls are telling us that this campaign has the strong potential to become highly competitive.  Any outcome is possible here in 2014.

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

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LABOR
AGC-Opposed Paycheck Legislation Stalls in Senate
 

Last week, the Senate failed to get cloture on S. 2199, the Paycheck Fairness Act.  This bill would have given the government greater control over how a company’s employees are paid by expanding the Equal Pay Act to limit the ability of employers to make pay decisions based on experience, local market rates, education, or other business factors. It would also threaten incentive programs, promote class action law suits, and create unlimited compensatory and punitive damages in Equal Pay Act cases. This bill would apply to all employers with two or more employees.

The vote failed 53-44 along party lines, with all Democrats supporting and Republicans opposing (60 votes were needed to advance the legislation). AGC joined over 20 national employer associations in an opposition letter to the legislation. While it remains unlikely the bill would pass, the issue is likely to continue to dominate the debate in Congress and outside of it leading up to the November elections.  In fact, the administration issued an Executive Order and Presidential Memorandum last week applying many of the provisions from the Paycheck Fairness Act on federal contractors.

For more information, please contact Jim Young at (202) 547-0133 or youngj@agc.org Return to Top
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AGC EVENTS
Registration Opens for the AGC Summer Financial Issues Forum
 

The Summer 2014 AGC Financial Issues Forum (FIF) will be held June 19-20 in Washington, D.C.  The meeting is geared toward member company CEOs, CFOs, and other senior accounting professionals –forum attendees will have the opportunity to network and hear from tax experts and congressional representatives present on a wide variety of financial and accounting topics, including:

  • Update on FASB projects
  • Latest audit issues faced by construction companies
  • Construction tax issues
  • Congressional action on tax policy
  • An economic outlook for the industry

All events will be held at:

Westin Georgetown
2350 M St NW Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 429-0100 | www.westingeorgetown.com  

Be sure to make your hotel arrangements by Monday, May 12 to take advantage of AGC’s group rates.

For more information, please contact Brian Lenihan at (202) 547-4733 or lenihanb@agc.org Return to Top

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Federal Contractors Conference: Early-Bird Discount Expires SOON!
Register by April 24 and Save $100
 

With the fiscal year 2014 budget in place and the president’s fiscal year 2015 budget released, federal agencies have a better understanding of the projects coming down the pipe. Many top federal agency leaders and their colleagues will discuss their plans at the 2014 AGC Federal Contractors Conference held June 10-12 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Will you be there to hear what they say and get a jump on the competition?

Among the federal agencies invited to attend with their construction representatives, including but not limited to, top generals and rear admirals, agency heads, head contracting policy officers, chief civil engineers, chiefs of construction, lead architects and BIM specialists, small business officers and more, are:

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Military & Civil Works Programs)
  • Naval Facilities Engineering Command Commander
  • Air Force Civil Engineer Center
  • General Services Administration
  • U.S. Department of State Bureau of Overseas Building Operations
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • National Nuclear Security Administration
  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service

To register for and learn more about this conference, go to www.agc.org/fedcon. Register by April 24 to get the early bird discount and save $100.

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

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