Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org July 7, 2016
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On the Inside
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
AGC-Supported Career and Technical Education Legislation Advances in House
AGC PAC
AGC Leading the Effort to Repeal PAC Prior Approval
TRANSPORTATION
AGC-Supported Bill Extends Aviation Programs to September 2017
U.S. Transportation Department Announces FASTLANE Grant Awards
TAX
AGC Sends Additional 385 Comment Letter to Treasury
AGC EVENTS
Registration Open for the 2016 Utility Infrastructure Conference
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
AGC-Supported Career and Technical Education Legislation Advances in House
Contact your Federal Legislators & Urge Congress to Pass This Bill
 

The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce approved, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, legislation which would reauthorize and reform the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. AGC has been calling on Congress (Perkins reauthorization is part of AGC’s Workforce Development Plan) to reform and reinvigorate the Perkins bill to meet the current workforce needs through better program alignment, better reporting, increased work-based learning, promoting industry-recognized credentials and increased federal investment. The draft bill generally addresses these recommendations and AGC is calling on Congress to approve the legislation in an expeditious manner.  Please contact your federal Representative and Senators and urge them to support this legislation.

The Perkins bill is the primary federal funding vehicle for career and technical education programs, providing more than $1 billion annually to secondary and post-secondary vocational training programs. The bill was last authorized over a decade ago, and it no longer addresses the skills gap in today’s workforce. The legislation, as approved by the committee, gives greater flexibility to states on how they spend their allotments, improves performance metrics and aligns the programs with other education and workforce training legislation: the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Similar to other education and workforce training programs, the success of the program rests on how it is ultimately implemented and how well employers collaborate and engage with educators in their local and state communities.

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

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AGC PAC
AGC Leading the Effort to Repeal PAC Prior Approval
 

The U.S. House of Representatives took the first step toward repealing the prior approval requirement imposed upon the political action committees (PACs) of trade associations in a 235-185 vote on an amendment to the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill prohibiting fiscal year 2017 funds from being used to enforce this requirement.  While this action does not repeal the requirement or prohibit its current enforcement, it does begin the process of having the language included in a year-end omnibus package.

As a principal steering committee member of the Prior Approval Reform Coalition, AGC continues to lead the fight to have this discriminatory and burdensome requirement repealed, believing that it makes no sense that corporate member trade association PACs must adhere to this antiquated practice for no meaningful purpose.

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

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TRANSPORTATION
AGC-Supported Bill Extends Aviation Programs to September 2017
 

This week, the House and Senate announced they had reached agreement on legislation to extend the authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding and taxes through Sept. 30, 2017.   The bill is expected to be considered and passed by the House and Senate prior to the expiration of the current extension on July 15.

The bipartisan legislation includes several policy changes relating to aviation security, consumer protection and safety.  However, it does not provide the increased funding levels, for which AGC advocated, for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP).  Additionally, the extension only includes minor provisions dealing with the rapid growth of drones or Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAVs) – including creating new processes to detect, identify and mitigate unauthorized operation of UAVs around airports and critical infrastructure.

Also absent from the extension is an AGC-supported provision included in the Senate-passed bill that would have established one size-standard for all Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) working for the FAA. AGC will continue to pursue a multiyear FAA authorization that provides increased funding for the AIP program and increasing the cap on the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC), which is used to finance local airport infrastructure projects. 

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

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U.S. Transportation Department Announces FASTLANE Grant Awards
 

The U.S. Department of Transportation this week announced its selections for the first round of annual “FASTLANE” grants under a new program established in the FAST Act. DOT awarded $759.2 million dollars this year to 18 projects.  A total of 212 applications were submitted. The projects range in size from $165 million for a series of multimodal improvements on the I-95 corridor in Virginia to a $5 million interchange upgrade in Seattle, Wash.

The FAST Act created the program for "Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects" and provided a total of $4.5 billion over the five-year period of fiscal years 2016-2020 (although the FY 2016 funding was subsequently reduced from the original $800 million level). The law required that 25 percent of the total be awarded to rural projects and 10 percent for small projects. While freight rail and intermodal projects are eligible for funding, Congress limited awards to these projects to no more than $500 million of the aggregate five-year total. It is the first program in the Transportation Department’s 50-year history that establishes broad, multiyear eligibilities for freight infrastructure projects including intermodal. The FAST Act also gave Congress a 60-day period to review the DOT awards and object to specific awards that are deemed inappropriate.

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

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TAX
AGC Sends Additional 385 Comment Letter to Treasury
 

Today, AGC sent a comprehensive comment letter to the IRS in advance of the July 14 public hearing. The letter offered recommendations that would curtail the proposed regulation’s effects on domestic construction companies. The letter is in addition to the comments sent last week asking for a withdrawal of the rules and, at a minimum, an extension of the public comment period and study of the regulations on industries. Visit AGC’s Action Center and urge your members of Congress to oppose the 385 regulations in their current form.

On Wednesday, Ways and Means Committee members met with the Treasury Department to gain answers regarding their concerns about the proposed regulations. Additionally, IRS has scheduled a July 14th public hearing on the proposed 385 regulations and AGC plans to have an expert witness provide recommendations and examples of how the proposed regulations, if finalized in their current form, would affect construction firms.

For more information, please contact Brian Lenihan at lenihanb@agc.org or (703) 837-4733. Return to Top

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AGC EVENTS
Registration Open for the 2016 Utility Infrastructure Conference
October 28-29, 2016 | Atlanta, Georgia
 

The 2016 AGC Utility Infrastructure Conference will bring together contractors, owners and key industry constituents involved in every aspect of utility and infrastructure construction for a day and a half-long program on the latest legislative and regulatory issues affecting the industry, technology and operation trends shaping the market, and updates on AGC’s efforts to fund infrastructure investment.

This event is an opportunity to connect not only with fellow utility infrastructure contractors, but also with emerging leader construction professionals from across the country. This year’s conference will be co-located with the AGC CLC Leadership Development Conference, the top gathering for emerging construction leaders from across the country. This event will also feature a jobsite tour and a tour/reception at the College Football Hall of Fame.

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

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