Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org October 9, 2014
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On the Inside
SAFETY
OSHA Proposing to Vastly Expand its Recordkeeping Regulatory Proposal
2014 ELECTIONS
Construction Votes 2014
TRANSPORTATION
AGC Participates in DOT Workforce Summit to Help Address Growing Worker Shortages
HEALTHCARE
AGC-Involved Coalition Calls on Administration To Clarify Affordable Care Act Reporting Requirements
TAX
Treasury, IRS, and Others Urge Congress to Act on Expired and Expiring Tax Provisions
Hotel Deadline Expires Tuesday for AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference
LABOR
AGC to Participate In White House Meeting on Federal Contractor Executive Order
SAFETY
OSHA Proposing to Vastly Expand its Recordkeeping Regulatory Proposal
Comments Due Next Tuesday
 

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issued a supplemental rulemaking on August 14 proposing to vastly expand its current recordkeeping regulatory proposal in ways that will directly impact company safety and health policies.  AGC is concerned that the supplemental rulemaking goes far beyond the requirements for properly recording injuries/illnesses.  Specifically, the requirements could potentially interfere with an employer’s ability to establish, implement, and enforce company policies designed to promote a safe and healthy workplace.

The expansion of this rulemaking is said to be in response to concerns raised during the public meetings held on Jan. 9-10, 2014.  In those public meetings, a couple of speakers expressed fears that the initial proposal to require electronic injury and illness reporting could potentially result in employers adopting policies and procedures to discourage injury and illness reporting. 

The comment period ends Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Please take a minute to send comments on the recordkeeping rule. 

For more information, please contact Kevin Cannon at (703) 837-5410 or cannonk@agc.org Return to Top

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2014 ELECTIONS
Construction Votes 2014
 

With more than 6 million individuals working in construction, our industry has a tremendous opportunity to impact the 2014 election. To be successful, it is critical you encourage your colleagues, family and friends to register to vote, and then cast a ballot on or before November 4.

Download this document. Use the sample text to send an email to your colleagues, family and friends reminding them about registering to vote, early voting and requesting an absentee ballot. Also included are messages you can post on your company’s social media pages.

Don't be silent.  Be a part of our democracy.  Help make the construction industry’s voice heard loudly and clearly this fall. Visit ConstructionVotes.com to learn more.

Upcoming voter registration deadlines:

  • Oct. 10: Idaho, New York, North Carolina and Oklahoma
  • Oct. 11: Delaware
  • Oct. 14: Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada (in-person), New Jersey, Oregon, Virginia and West Virginia
  • Oct. 15: Massachusetts and Wisconsin (by mail)
  • Oct. 17: Nebraska (by mail)
  • Oct. 20: Alabama, California, Iowa (by mail), South Dakota, Utah (in-person) and Wyoming
  • Oct. 21: Connecticut (by mail)
  • Oct. 24: Nebraska (in-person)
  • Oct. 25: New Hampshire (by mail)

Early voting begins:

  • Early Voting Begins when Ballots are Published: Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, New York, South Carolina, Virginia
  • Underway: Arizona, California, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming
  • Oct. 15: Tennessee
  • Oct. 17: Kentucky and Washington
  • Oct. 18: New Mexico and Nevada
  • Oct. 20: Alaska, DC, Illinois, Texas and Wisconsin
  • Oct. 21: Hawaii and Utah
  • Oct. 22: West Virginia
  • Oct. 23: Maryland and North Carolina
  • Oct. 25: Florida

In almost all states, voters may now submit applications for absentee ballots if they will not be able to get to the polls on Election Day. The upcoming deadlines for requesting an absentee ballot are:

  • Oct. 14: Rhode Island
  • Oct. 24: Arizona
  • Oct. 25: Alaska

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

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TRANSPORTATION
AGC Participates in DOT Workforce Summit to Help Address Growing Worker Shortages
 

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), in cooperation with the Departments of Education and Labor, held a summit this week to address the current and future workforce shortage that is facing many segments of the transportation industry including the highway construction sector. DOT invited AGC to participate in the summit to provide the construction industry’s perspective. In addition to AGC of America participants, Rich Barcaskey and Jason Koss (pictured above) from AGC’s Contractors Association of Western Pennsylvania (CAWP) chapter also took part in the meeting.

Research done by DOT indicates that employers will need to hire and train a total of 4.6 million individuals in the next decade, or the equivalent of 1 to 1.5 times the current workforce to meet the needs of growth, retirement and turnover. According to the DOT study, the highway construction segment has the highest estimated percentage of total job openings due to growth and separations over the next ten years. Industry image, shortage of training programs, lack of interest from the new generation of workers and lack of support for these career opportunities from parents, educators and career counselors all contribute to the pending shortages.  AGC pointed out that a recent AGC workforce survey shows that highway contractors are already experiencing difficulty in finding a qualified workforce with the necessary skills and training. The summit concluded with recommendations on skills training, image boosting and outreach efforts to encourage youth to pursue a career in the transportation industry.

The CAWP participated in the meeting to expose participants to a program they have developed called “Future Roads Builders.” This computer-based program presents students with a “virtual” exposure to real-world highway construction projects. “Future Road Builders” is a pre-apprenticeship program that introduces students to highway construction careers by allowing students to play video games that simulate real highway construction scenarios. Videos, images and assessment questions give students a better understanding of the industry and uncover the skills needed for a career in highway construction.

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

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HEALTHCARE
AGC-Involved Coalition Calls on Administration To Clarify Affordable Care Act Reporting Requirements
 

The Employers for Flexibility in Health Care Coalition, of which AGC is a member, called on Treasury Secretary Lew and Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell to address a number of challenges employers are facing in complying with the Affordable Care Act’s administrative requirements. The coalition offered solutions to the administration on the information reporting requirements, determination of employee eligibility for premium tax credits, the employer notification process when exchanges have determined employees eligible for premium tax credits, and administration of advanced premium tax credits for 2015.

The ACA’s employer responsibility provisions will come into full effect and the limited time frame for employers to put systems in place to comply with the reporting requirements. AGC hopes the Administration can mitigate many of these challenges and minimize the complexity and burdens on employers and their employees. AGC is also seeking legislative remedies to many of these issues but given the shortened legislative calendar all options are being explored.

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

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TAX
Treasury, IRS, and Others Urge Congress to Act on Expired and Expiring Tax Provisions
 

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen wrote all of the top tax writers in Congress on Monday to urge them to act swiftly to renew expired and expiring tax provisions or risk delaying the start of the 2015 tax filing season. Koskinen urged the leaders of the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means committees to decide which breaks to extend and which will expire before the end of November.

It is the same warning that the IRS has had to issue on several occasions in recent years. The tax extenders are frequently allowed to expire only to be renewed retroactively at a later date. The Finance Committee passed an extension of the majority of expired and expiring provisions (EXPIRE Act) in May but the full Senate has yet to consider that legislation. Meanwhile, the House has passed a series of permanent extensions of individual extenders (Jobs for America Act). House and Senate Democrats largely oppose the approach and prefer to see a 1 or 2 year extension of all of the provisions to allow time for lawmakers to work on tax reform.

Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) responded to the letter by reiterating his push for lawmakers to consider the Finance Committee-approved legislation.

Meanwhile, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) continues to tout his 5 Points Plan, which has reforming the tax code as the number one agenda item for Congress to address after the election.

AGC supports comprehensive tax reform that reduces tax rates for all business types, simplifies reporting procedures, creates an atmosphere of certainty and enhances both public and private infrastructure investment.  AGC will continue working with both the House and Senate to pass tax reform in the 114th Congress

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

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Hotel Deadline Expires Tuesday for AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference
Register & Reserve Your Room Today
 

Jointly sponsored by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), the AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference, held Nov. 5-7, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nev., was developed in response to a need for programs and workshops designed specifically for financial professionals in the construction industry. The three-day conference is filled with 36 interactive sessions, covering the latest industry issues and their financial implications. Sessions are delivered “group-live” and are at intermediate, overview and update program levels. There are no prerequisites or advanced preparation required. Information about the conference can be found at meetings.agc.org/agc_cfma.  The hotel deadline is Oct. 14.  Be sure to book your room today.

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

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LABOR
AGC to Participate In White House Meeting on Federal Contractor Executive Order
 

Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor and Cecilia Muñoz, Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council invited AGC to attend a listening session that will take place tomorrow at the White House on President Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplace Executive Order. AGC has concerns about the Executive Order(EO) and views the listening session is an opportunity to share concerns about the implementation of the EO.

The EO purports to help federal agencies “identify and work with contractors with track records of compliance” with labor laws in order to “reduce execution delays and avoid distractions and complications that arise from contracting with contractors with track records of noncompliance.” It imposes several new obligations on federal contractors and contracting agencies, increasing the burdens and risks for covered contractors. It does not cover federally-assisted contracts. To read more about the EO click here.

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

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