Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org May 5, 2016
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On the Inside
REGULATIONS
Regulatory Burden Quantified by Competitive Enterprise Institute Report
LABOR
AGC Lobbies OMB on Overtime Rule
TRANSPORTATION
The Highway Trust Fund--Still Under Construction...Deliver the Message at the TCC Fly-In
LEGAL
Updated Construction State Law Matrix Helps You Quickly Navigate Laws that Impact You from Bid to Closeout
EVENTS
Last Chance to Register for Federal Contractors Conference, May 9-11
EVENTS
AGC Financial Issues Committee, Loews Madison Hotel | June 13-14, 2016
REGULATIONS
Regulatory Burden Quantified by Competitive Enterprise Institute Report
 

AGC members have every reason to believe they are constantly being threatened by a barrage of new regulatory initiatives. AGC is following more than 20 major rulemakings that impact the industry right now such as the “Waters of the US” proposed rule, the silica rule, the “ambush” election rule, the overtime rule (see next story for an update on AGC’s efforts), and the “blacklisting” rule to name a few. Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute released its annual survey of the size, scope, and cost of federal regulations, and how they affect American consumers, businesses, and the U.S. economy.

Highlights from the CEI press release on  the 2016 edition include:

  • The federal regulatory cost reached $1.885 trillion in 2015. 
  • Federal regulation is a hidden tax that amounts to nearly $15,000 per U.S. household each year. 
  • In 2015, 114 laws were enacted by Congress during the calendar year, while 3,410 rules were issued by agencies. Thus, 30 rules were issued for every law enacted last year. 
  • Many Americans complain about taxes, but regulatory compliance costs exceed the $1.82 trillion that the IRS is expected to collect in both individual and corporate income taxes from 2015.
  • Some 60 federal departments, agencies, and commissions have 3,297 regulations in development at various stages in the pipeline. 
  • The top five federal rulemaking agencies account for 41 percent of all federal regulations. These are the Departments of the Treasury, Commerce, Interior, Health and Human Services, and Transportation. 
  • The 2015 Federal Register contains 80,260 pages, the third highest page count in its history. Of the seven all-time-highest Federal Register total page counts, six occurred under President Obama. 
  • The George W. Bush administration averaged 62 major regulations annually over eight years, while the Obama administration has averaged 81 major regulations annually over seven years.

 Read the entire report here.

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

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LABOR
AGC Lobbies OMB on Overtime Rule
 

AGC and its industry partners met with the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) to discuss the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division proposal to increase the overtime salary threshold from $23,660 per year to $50,440. The proposal would be adjusted annually, and while the intended goal of the administration is to guarantee overtime pay to most salaried workers earning less than $50,400 per year (conceivably resulting in higher wages for these workers), AGC’s analysis shows a different outcome.

Based on projections, construction employers are more likely to reclassify impacted workers, limit weekly hours to no more than 40 hours, limit fringe benefits, eliminate some positions, or transition some full-time positions to part time roles. Such outcomes would surely have a detrimental impact on employee morale.

AGC used OMB’s review process (the last step in the regulatory rulemaking process before an agency’s rule is finalized and implemented) to argue the proposed salary increase is too much to absorb at once. AGC contends that the salary threshold should take into account regional economic differences and that salaries will not unilaterally rise as a result of the rule.

AGC highlighted the drastic measures some construction employers will be forced to undertake to comply with the rule and urged DOL to avoid any changes to the “duties test” without another round of public comments. While it is unlikely that the rule will be stopped at such a late stage, it is AGC’s hope that the coalition of impacted industries have made a compelling enough case that OMB might require the agency to not move forward with such a drastic and sudden salary increase.

OMB could finalize the review process in the coming weeks and a final rule could be announced shortly thereafter. AGC will continue to monitor the rule and, absent changes to the rule by OMB, we will continue to call for Congressional action to make the rule workable for the industry.

For more details click here to read AGC’s full comments.

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

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TRANSPORTATION
The Highway Trust Fund--Still Under Construction...Deliver the Message at the TCC Fly-In
 

While the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act provides a steady source of funding over the next five years for the highway and transit programs, the legislation did not solve the long term Highway Trust Fund revenue problem. Upon expiration of the FAST Act, significant new revenue streams will be needed just to maintain funding levels beyond FY 2020.

Your senators and representatives need to understand that the industry appreciates what was achieved in the FAST Act, but now is the time to begin fixing the transportation infrastructure investment shortfall we are facing now—and will be facing into the future.

Scheduled for May 10-11, 2016, the Transportation Construction Coalition’s (TCC) 2016 Legislative Fly-In will provide members with an ideal platform to deliver this message to elected officials.

Register today!  

 

May 10, 2016

9:00 - 11:00 AM        AGC Meeting with the Federal Highway Administration

11 AM – 2:00 PM      AGC Legislative Briefing (Lunch Included)

2:30 - 5:00 PM          TCC Legislative Briefing

May 11, 2016            Congressional Visits

 

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

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LEGAL
Updated Construction State Law Matrix Helps You Quickly Navigate Laws that Impact You from Bid to Closeout
 

AGC’s Construction State Law Matrix is the most comprehensive and concise resource available to know the state laws affecting public and private construction projects. Just updated, your annual subscription provides access to searchable information and answers for all fifty states, DC, and Puerto Rico. AGC members usually pay only $149 for an annual subscription, but this month you can save 20% with the code SLM20.

The 60+ topics include: 

  • Licensing Requirements
  • MBE, DBE, WBE
  • Electronic Bidding
  • Prompt Payment
  • Pay If-Paid/Pay-When-Paid
  • Bond Requirements
  • Bidding Requirements
  • Design-Build
  • Prequalification
  • CM At-Risk
  • Lien laws
  • P3s
  • Prevailing Wage
  • Statute of Repose

 

To view a sample of the Construction State Law Matrix, click here. Return to Top

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EVENTS
Last Chance to Register for Federal Contractors Conference, May 9-11
 

This is your last week to register for the 2016 AGC Federal Contractors Conference (FEDCON). FEDCON—held May 9-11 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.—is the premier conference for federal construction contractors to discuss the latest projects, policies and contracting issues facing the industry with federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facility Engineering Command, Air Force Civil Engineer Center, General Services Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of State, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Bureau of Reclamation.

In addition to substantive discussions and presentations with federal agencies, attendees will hear from legal experts about the latest federal regulations that will impact their businesses and may have the opportunity to continue a dialogue with federal agencies after the conference. During the Federal Law and Regulation Workshop, leading federal construction attorneys will address executive orders, Small Business Administration and Federal Acquisition Regulation rules, and case law trends your company needs to know to work in the federal market. And, when the conference concludes, AGC member attendees will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing dialogue and meetings with agency heads later in the year.

For more information go to http://meetings.agc.org/fedcon/

For further information, contact Jimmy Christianson at 703-837-5325 or christiansonj@agc.org.

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EVENTS
AGC Financial Issues Committee, Loews Madison Hotel | June 13-14, 2016
 

We are about 40 DAYS away from the 2016 Summer Financial Issues Committee Meeting Financial Issues Committee (FIC) Summer Meeting being held June 13 & 14 in Washington, D.C. at the Loews Madison Hotel. Please register and make your reservations soon to guarantee the AGC committee rate. Hotel cut-off date is Friday, May 20, 2016.

The meeting is geared toward member company CFOs, CEOs, and other senior accounting professionals – in which forum attendees have an opportunity to network and hear from tax experts, congressional representatives, and other notable speakers present on a wide variety of topics, including::

  • Update on FASB projects by Cullen Walsh, Assistant Director, FASB
  • State of Play for Taxes in 2016 & 2017 by Congressmen James Renacci (R-OH) and Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) of the Ways and Means Committee
  • An economic outlook for the industry from Ken Simonson, Chief Economist, AGC
  • FASB & Construction tax issues - presentations by representatives from BKD,Moss Adams, CBIZ MHM, Ernst & Young

If you haven't already registered, here are three quick reasons why you should:

Get up-to-date information that could affect your company. Meet the decision-makers. And Network with your peers.

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

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