Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org October 30, 2014
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On the Inside
2014 ELECTIONS
Election Day Nears – Vote and Get Your Co-Workers to Vote Too
Final Pre-Election Update on Senate Races
TRANSPORTATION
Tennessee Delaying Road Projects Until 2016
SAFETY
AGC Joins Coalition on Revising OSHA’s Crane Operator Certification Requirements
2014 ELECTIONS
Election Day Nears – Vote and Get Your Co-Workers to Vote Too
 

You've reminded colleagues, family members and friends to register, encouraged them to vote early, and talked to them about the importance of participating in the upcoming election.

Now what? 

Now is not the time for you to sit back and wait. There’s no guarantee that those who registered to vote will make it to the polls on Election Day.  Even the simplest efforts on your part can produce high-yield results.

Here are some helpful tips on how you can have a strong impact on voter turnout:

  • Set up a call bank to remind colleagues and their families about Election Day.
  • Mobilize team members to knock on office doors, stop by workspaces and jobsites.
  • Leave flyers on desks.
  • Hang Election Day reminder posters in lunchrooms and other public areas.
  • Post a reminder on the front page of your company intranet.
  • Use a voicemail tree or send out a broadcast email with a reminder and voting information.

Sample content is available on ConstructionVotes.com. Make sure you visit this page beginning at 7 p.m. EDT on Tuesday for election results.

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

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Final Pre-Election Update on Senate Races
 

Republicans appear to be maintaining the momentum established last week, and it appears control of the Senate will be decided by the outcomes of races in just 10 states. Georgia and Kansas are the only states where late trends are favoring Democrats.  Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia have already been deemed Republican conversions, with everywhere else leaning in the GOP’s direction.

Alaska:  The state has a reputation as being notoriously difficult and expensive to poll given its size and topography.  Because of this, caution is urged when reviewing internal and public polls.  Despite this, it appears that Dan Sullivan (R) may have the momentum on his side. Several recent polls had him leading Sen. Mark Begich (D) by three to six points. 

Arkansas:  The latest poll gave Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR-4) his largest lead of the campaign, 49-36 percent. This poll may be an outlier as the polling average shows a more modest lead of seven points. Nevertheless, Sen. Mark Pryor (D) is in serious danger of losing his re-election, and the odds appear to favor a Republican conversion.

Colorado:  In six of the last seven polls, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO-4) led Sen. Mark Udall (D) by one to seven points. Democrats claim their unreleased internal numbers give the Senator a small advantage. The new mail voting procedure could impact the outcome and the expected margin is razor thin. Democrats also point to the fact that their candidates have under-polled in the last two elections. The Colorado Senate race may prove to be the ultimate bellwether. Expect this one to go down to the wire, but the available data does seem to favor a very close Gardner upset victory.

Georgia:  The polls released last week showed Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn with the momentum in this race as she led David Perdue (R) by one to three points.  However, this week, it appears that Perdue has managed to battle back into contention.  In the most recent polls, he has a two to three point lead.  The big question is: Will either candidate be able to secure 50+1 percent of the vote on Election Day?  If not, state election law forces the top two finishers into a Jan. 6 run-off.

Iowa: Democrats claim that Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA-1) has regained some lost momentum, but outside conservative organizations have opened up on him with major force, with the launch of multiple negative ads. It appears that state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) still has the slight upper hand.  In the most recent poll, she led the Congressman – 49 to 45 percent.

Kansas: The state has seen a number of GOP surrogates – Bush, Cruz, Dole, McCain, Palin, Paul, Romney and Ryan – come to the aid of Sen. Pat Roberts (R) in an effort to boost turnout and pull him across the finish line. A new poll released this week gave Independent Greg Orman a 44-42 percent advantage, a much smaller lead than what he posted earlier in the month. Without a Democratic candidate in the race, Orman has a real shot at defeating the Senator.

Kentucky:  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has shown signs of beginning to pull away from Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.  A new internal poll posts the Senator to a 49-41 percent advantage, but other data suggests a tightening of the race. Despite McConnell leading by one to six points in new polls, Republicans still have some concern over this race.

Louisiana:  All indications continue to point to none of the eight candidates on the Senate ballot receiving a majority of the vote. This means that Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA-6) will likely head to a December 6 run-off. When polls include the other candidates, and specifically retired Air Force officer Rob Maness (R), neither of the major party candidates comes close to the majority mark.

New Hampshire:  Three new polls are out, all showing a tightening of the race and closing in favor of Republican challenger Scott Brown, the former Massachusetts Senator. The latest three polls show a margin of no more than two points.  If a late GOP wave develops, Brown may be able to ride it back into the Senate.

North Carolina:  All polling is tightening here. Thom Tillis (R), the N.C. Speaker of the House and Sen. Kay Hagan (D) have been hammering each other over an array of issues in non-stop political ads causing both of their negatives to rise.  Undecided voters are not excited by either candidate, which is why both campaigns will place a heavier emphasis on turning-out their own voters in this midterm. Most polling still gives Hagan the lead, but by only one point.

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

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TRANSPORTATION
Tennessee Delaying Road Projects Until 2016
Officials Cite Uncertainty over Future Federal Funding
 

The impact of Congressional inaction over highway funding has resulted in the Tennessee Department of Transportation delaying over $400 million in road projects until fiscal year 2016.  In an Oct. 24th letter to state legislators, the Tennessee highway director detailed which projects would be delayed and also informed them that the department is re-prioritizing which projects will be let to contract in their December letting. 

The letter went on to ask state legislators to lobby the Tennessee Congressional delegation for a long-term well-funded federal transportation bill.  Like most states, federal dollars make up about half of Tennessee’s annual budget for transportation. 

AGC is interested if other states are planning on scaling back lettings or delaying future projects because of the uncertainty surrounding federal highway funding.  Please contact AGC of America staff – Sean O’Neill (oneills@agc.org) or Brian Deery (deeryb@agc.org) with any information.

The actions taken in Tennessee underscore the need for Congress to continue to hear from their constituents on the need to fix the Highway Trust Fund.  AGC encourages all of our members to continue this push by using our Hardhats for Highways grassroots campaign.

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

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SAFETY
AGC Joins Coalition on Revising OSHA’s Crane Operator Certification Requirements
 

The Coalition for Crane Operator Safety (CCOS) formally launched today and is comprised of ten of the nation’s leading construction industry organizations representing both labor and management along with equipment manufacturers, insurance underwriters and accredited certification organizations in support of asking OSHA to revise and finalize the crane operator certification requirements within OSHA’s Cranes & Derricks in Construction Standard. Specifically, AGC and the coalition are working together in calling on OSHA to rescind the crane capacity certification requirements, as well as a provision that essentially equates employer certification with qualification. Earlier this year, OSHA announced they would be going through the rulemaking process on these provisions with a target of finalizing them in 2017. The final rule was initially scheduled to become effective next month, but the enforcement of these narrow provisions was ultimately delayed until 2017.

This week, a press release was issued announcing the broad coalition and the needed revisions to the rule. AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr was quoted as saying “Adjudicating operator certification requirements based on capacity would add significant new complexity for employers and their employees without yielding any discernible improvement in safety” he added “As significant, no national safety study has found any additional safety benefits beyond certification by type, and OSHA has not analyzed the costs, benefits or other consequences of certification by capacity.”

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

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