Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org September 8, 2016
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On the Inside
WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
AGC-Backed $9 Billion Senate Water Infrastructure Bill Poised for Action
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
House Expected to Vote on Career and Technical Education Reforms
FEDERAL CONTRACTING
AGC Provides More Information on Final Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Regulation
LABOR
AGC Opposes USACE-Mandated Project Labor Agreements
WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
AGC-Backed $9 Billion Senate Water Infrastructure Bill Poised for Action
 

An AGC-supported, $9 billion water infrastructure bill is poised for action in the Senate next week. This bill is the Senate’s version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, and it would authorize funding for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works projects, including dredging, locks, levees, hydropower dams, parks, and water supply.

Additionally, the Senate WRDA bill: creates a Clean Water Trust Fund, a longtime AGC priority; State Revolving Fund and Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act funding for cities with declared lead in water emergencies (like Flint, Mich.); reauthorizes sewer overflow control grants; provides new funding for technical assistance to small treatment plants; ensures Safe Drinking Water Act compliance assistance for small disadvantaged communities; reauthorizes funding for desalination; and provides assistance for low-income residents when replacing lead service lines to homes.

While outlook in the Senate is optimistic for a WRDA vote next week and for passage, the House has yet to bring up its version of WRDA after it passed out of committee. AGC will continue to pursue passage of WRDA in both the House and Senate and fight for all AGC priorities in the bill through to its signature by the president.

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

 

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WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
House Expected to Vote on Career and Technical Education Reforms
 

TAKE ACTION: Contact Elected Officials in Support of Perkins Reauthorization

Next week the House is expected to vote on legislation that would make critical reforms and improvements to the Perkins Act, the primary federal funding and policy source for career and technical education (CTE) programs. The legislation expected to be considered, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, better aligns programs, improves reporting, increases work-based learning, promotes industry-recognized credentials and increases federal investment.

AGC supports the legislation and views it as a vital component to addressing the construction industry workforce shortage. A September 2016 AGC Workforce Shortage Surveyshowed that 75 percent of AGC contractors polled viewed  the current quality of programs like CTE as “fair” or “poor,” while only 14 percent rated them as either “good” or “excellent.”

The Senate continues to work on their own legislation, and any differences between the House and Senate versions must be resolved before the legislation becomes law. AGC remains hopeful that an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote in the House will spur the Senate to act before the end of the year.

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


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FEDERAL CONTRACTING
AGC Provides More Information on Final Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Regulation
 

TAKE ACTION: Urge Congress to Block Application of this EO

With parts of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (“Blacklisting”) Executive Order (EO) coming into effect on Oct. 25, AGC held an in-depth webinar on the more than 850 pages of regulatory text that will expose direct federal contractors to additional sanctions and liability for their labor law violations, among other things.  A recording of that webinar and the presentation can be accessed here and here. A detailed AGC analysis of the regulations can be accessed here. AGC members are encouraged to contact their U.S. Representative and Senators to support AGC legislative efforts to block the implementing regulations for this EO.

As it stands, AGC-backed provisions in the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act—a bill passed 54 consecutive years that helps fund the Department of Defense (DOD)—would generally prohibit application of the EO and its implementing regulations on DOD contracts and most DOD contractors. AGC and its industry coalition allies are working to extend that restriction to all federal contracts and contractors government-wide. AGC is also part of an employer-wide coalition that is currently reviewing possible legal options to blocking implementation of this rule. 

While AGC will continue its efforts to combat this EO on the legislative and legal fronts, AGC members must plan accordingly in the event these regulations come into effect. AGC will post updates and analysis of this rule on our website: http://www.agc.org/blacklisting.

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

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LABOR
AGC Opposes USACE-Mandated Project Labor Agreements
 

This month, AGC sent letters opposing the possible use of a project labor agreement (PLA) mandate posted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for construction projects at the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina and the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

AGC neither supports nor opposes contractors’ voluntary use of PLAs on government projects, but strongly opposes any government mandate for contractors’ use of PLAs. AGC is committed to free and open competition for publicly funded work, and as such, believes the lawful labor relations policies and practices of private construction contractors should not be a factor in a government agency’s selection process.

To view AGC efforts opposing government mandated PLAs, click here.

For more information, please contact Jordan Howard at jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.

 

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