Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org September 15, 2016
Spacer
AGC Home Page
Email our Editor
Search Back Issues
Forward to a Friend
Subscribe
Printer Friendly
AGC Political Toolkit
RSS
Take Action!
On the Inside
2016 ELECTIONS
Join AGC in Kicking Off Employee Voter Registration Week – Sept. 26-30
FEDERAL CONTRACTING
AGC Testifies on the Impact Executive Orders Have on Construction Contractors
Blacklisting EO Implementation Continues
AGC Provides More Information on SBA’s new Mentor-Protégé Program
WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
Senate Overwhelmingly Passes WRDA
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
House Passes Career and Technical Education Bill, AGC Calls on Senate to Act
ENVIRONMENT
Building Contractors Be on the Lookout: EPA Lead Paint Survey Efforts Underway
Services’ New Workplan Could Forecast New Endangered Species Listings
LABOR
House Committee Releases Composite Plan Details for Multiemployer Pension Plans
TRANSPORTATION
Automated Vehicles, Cybersecurity, Construction Technology Developments, & More
AASHTO-AGC-ARTBA Joint Committee Warns Congress Against Shortchanging FAST Act Funding
TAX/ACCOUNTING
Book Your Hotel Today for the AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference
Early Bird Registration for AGC Financial Issues Winter Meeting
2016 ELECTIONS
Join AGC in Kicking Off Employee Voter Registration Week – Sept. 26-30
 

AGC of America, along with other industry groups across the country, will kick off Employee Voter Registration Week on September 26, encouraging employees in the construction industry to register to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day. Registering and voting doesn’t have to be difficult or take up much time.  AGC makes it easy for you and your colleagues, friends, and family by hosting a voter registration and election information center at ConstructionVotes.com.

The construction industry and the millions of workers it employs have much at stake in this election.  At a time when the industry is rebounding from the longest and deepest slump of any sector, it is especially important to elect leaders willing to work for common-sense solutions to the challenges facing the construction industry and its workforce. Download this employer toolkit containing sample messages to use in promoting Employee Voter Registration Week to your colleagues.

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

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

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
FEDERAL CONTRACTING
AGC Testifies on the Impact Executive Orders Have on Construction Contractors
 

On September 13, AGC testified on the damaging impacts of recent executive orders—including the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (Blacklisting) Executive Order—on small business construction contractors before the House Small Business Committee. The association focused its testimony on two items: (1) the practical impact of implementing various executive orders within the 93 percent of all U.S. construction businesses, which have 20 or fewer employees—many of whom work “double duty”—and (2) in the context of existing federal, state and local regulatory and legal frameworks that, oftentimes, conflict with these presidential initiatives.

AGC also explained that these executive actions individually and cumulatively will expose small business construction contractors to significant new costs, legal liabilities and other risks that can serve as deterrents to small business entry into the construction marketplace and impediments to small business growth. AGC continues to advocate against many of the needless, burdensome and unlawful regulatory actions taken by this administration on Capitol Hill and in court.

For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at christiansonj@agc.org or (703) 837-5325.  Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
Blacklisting EO Implementation Continues
DOL Opens Preassessment Option for Federal Contractors
 

This week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) took a step forward in its implementation of the president’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (Blacklisting) Executive Order (EO) by opening up a process whereby prime and subcontractors may voluntarily submit their labor law compliance record to the agency for assessment before parts of this regulation go into effect on October 25, 2016. AGC strongly cautions its members to carefully consider the documentation it voluntarily submits to DOL and recommends federal contractors consult legal counsel prior to disclosing potentially sensitive documentation under this process.

Called “preassessment,” DOL will assess whether any contractor's violations are serious, repeated, willful, or pervasive and whether a “labor compliance agreement” may be warranted. If a contractor that has been assessed by DOL subsequently submits a bid, and the contracting officer initiates a responsibility determination of the contractor, the contracting officer and the Agency Labor Compliance Advisor may use the Department's assessment that the contractor has a satisfactory record of labor law compliance unless additional labor law violations have been disclosed. So, the preassessment is valid up until a contractor has new labor law violations not previously assessed.

It is unclear whether DOL may mandate or simply note that a federal contractor may need to complete a labor compliance agreement before being considered for contract award.

For more information, contact Jimmy Christianson at christiansonj@agc.org or (703) 837-5325.  Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
AGC Provides More Information on SBA’s new Mentor-Protégé Program
Thursday, Oct. 6 | 2:00-3:30 p.m. EDT
 

The federal construction contracting marketplace faces the potential for a dramatic change, whether your company is a small business or not, as a result of new U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) rule on an expanded mentor-protégé program for small businesses. Register now for a complimentary webinar for AGC members to learn about what all federal contractors—big and small—need to know about the new SBA mentor-protégé program & other small business changes. These new regulations expand the SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program to all small businesses. This will translate into more opportunities for large and small construction contractors to form joint ventures and bid on small business set-aside work. Topics explained:

  • The Potential Impacts of this New Program on Federal Contracting and Your Construction Business;
  • Basics of the New SBA Mentor Protégé Program;
  • What Contractors Should Know Before Participating in the New SBA Mentor Protégé Program;
  • How will SBA Handle Applications for the New Mentor Protégé Program; and
  • The Changes to Small Business Subcontracting Plans and its Impact on Large and Small Businesses.

The SBA will begin accepting applications for the All Small Mentor Protégé Program on October 1, 2016. To read AGC’s analysis of the rule click here.

For more information, contact jordan.howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368. Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
Senate Overwhelmingly Passes WRDA
 

The Senate passed the AGC-supported $9 billion Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016 by an overwhelming 95-3 today. The Senate WRDA bill authorizes funding for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works projects, including navigation (dredging, locks), flood control (levees), hydropower (dams), recreation (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.), reauthorizing sewer overflow control grants, new funding for technical assistance to small treatment plants, Safe Drinking Water Act compliance assistance for small disadvantaged communities, reauthorizing funding for desalination, and assistance for low-income residents when replacing lead service lines to homes.

The House has yet to bring up its version of WRDA after it passed out of committee, however conversations with key members and staff indicate the House could bring up its version as early as next week. The House version does not include the drinking water/wastewater provisions in the Senate bill. AGC will continue to pursue passage of WRDA in both the House and Senate and fight for all AGC priorities in the bill through conference and presidential signature.

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

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
House Passes Career and Technical Education Bill, AGC Calls on Senate to Act
 

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act this week by an overwhelming vote of 405-5. The near unanimous vote shows the broad support for the bill, which reforms and reinvigorates the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins) 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 bill generally addresses AGC recommendations and AGC is calling on the U.S. Senate to swiftly consider the bill.

The Perkins bill authorizes funding for career and technical education programs, providing more than $1 billion annually to high schools 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 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, contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or (202) 547-0133. Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
ENVIRONMENT
Building Contractors Be on the Lookout: EPA Lead Paint Survey Efforts Underway
 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is about to embark on a widespread effort to collect data on whether or not renovation, repair and painting (RRP) activities in buildings expose the public to lead-based paint (LBP) dust.  In the near term, you may be asked to fill out a survey regarding your general contracting firm’s recent RRP activities in public- and private-sector commercial buildings. If EPA determines that such activities create LBP “hazards,” the agency will write additional rules that will apply to building contractors.

Here’s what AGC wants you to know. 

  1. First and foremost: The survey is completely voluntary. 
  2. If your company does decide to participate in the survey, EPA may use your answers to estimate the resulting exposures to LBP dust. 
  3. Finally, it is important that anyone responding to EPA’s survey is familiar with OSHA’s Lead Standard for the Construction Industry.

Since May 2010 when EPA published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, AGC has actively participated in EPA’s process to consider new lead paint rules for renovations in public and commercial buildings.  The Association has worked closely with a “Commercial Properties Coalition” to submit lengthy comment letters, testified at a public hearing, participated in preliminary “small business regulatory review” proceedings, and met with EPA staff to discuss builders’ concerns. AGC maintains OSHA’s rules are adequate measures to control lead exposures in public and commercial buildings with lead-based paint. 

For more information, contact Leah Pilconis at pilconisl@agc.org or (703) 837-5332.  Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
Services’ New Workplan Could Forecast New Endangered Species Listings
Also Proposes New Compensatory Mitigation Policy
 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently released a National Listing Workplan outlining its planned approach to review and address the backlog of pending Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing petitions and critical habitat decisions for species over the next seven years.  In prioritizing this workload, FWS will use its new method for managing the hundreds of species that have been petitioned for federal protections under the ESA.  Currently, over 550 species are pending for consideration for listing under the ESA.  Click here for a related AGC article and click here for FWS’ website on prioritizing the Service’s listing work. 

FWS has also proposed a new compensatory mitigation policy, which aims to implement other recent policies that shift from a project-by-project approach to a landscape-scale approach to planning and implementing compensatory mitigation.  FWS will accept comments on the draft policy until Oct. 17, 2016 – click here.

For more information, contact Leah Pilconis at pilconisl@agc.org or (703) 837-5332.  Return to Top

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
LABOR
House Committee Releases Composite Plan Details for Multiemployer Pension Plans
 

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce released a “discussion draft” on the composite plan design for multiemployer pension plans design. The composite plan was initially discussed and proposed in the 2013 report, Solutions Not Bailouts. While much of the Solutions Not Bailouts report became law in the 2014 Multiemployer Pension Reform Act, the composite plan concept did not.

The release of a draft bill shows Congress’ commitment to support further changes to pension laws that will benefit employers, workers and retirees. AGC issued a statement of support after the draft was released. AGC has been working for years with stakeholders, encouraging Congress to act. While any legislative action between now and the November election is unlikely, we remain hopeful that Congress will act this year.

The mechanics of composite plans ensure fiscal viability, the composite plans will improve the multiemployer pension system, and composite plans have a proven track record.

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

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
TRANSPORTATION
Automated Vehicles, Cybersecurity, Construction Technology Developments, & More
AGC Highway and Transportation Construction Conference | November 3-5 | Phoenix, AZ
 

The AGC Highway and Transportation Construction Conference will feature all the cutting edge subjects that will impact the highway and transportation market over the next several years. How will automated vehicles impact road construction? What’s the latest in machine guidance systems and other technology developments? Is your company safe from ransomware, hacking and other cyber threats?

Join your fellow highway, transit and bridge contractors and get up to date at the 2016 Highway and Transportation Construction Conference (formerly the Highway Contractors Conference) November 3-5, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort.

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

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
AASHTO-AGC-ARTBA Joint Committee Warns Congress Against Shortchanging FAST Act Funding
 

At the annual meeting of the AASHTO-AGC-ARTBA Joint Committee, two resolutions were approved addressing the need for action on highway and transit funding. The first called on Congress enact a fiscal year 2017 appropriations bill for the U.S. Department of Transportation early in 2017—as some members of Congress are currently proposing. Failing to do so would needlessly delay critical highway and public transportation investment increases and renew uncertainty about future federal-aid funding.  Under the FAST Act, highway funding is scheduled to increase by two percent next year. However, the inability of Congress to finalize any of the 12 appropriation bills for next year makes it likely that the increased funding will be delayed and puts into question whether the increase will ultimately be provided. The resolution also urges Congress against adopting a $2.2 billion rescission of unobligated highway contract authority as contained in the Senate-passed bill.

The Joint Committee also passed a resolution calling on the new President and new Congress to fix the Highway Trust Fund’s revenue shortfall. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have indicated that an infrastructure initiative may be part of their legislative agenda in the early days of their Administrations, should they be elected. The resolution points out that fixing the Highway trust Fund problem by providing real, reliable, dedicated and sustainable revenue sources derived from the users and beneficiaries of the system for the Highway Trust Fund is a necessary part of any new initiative.

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

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
TAX/ACCOUNTING
Book Your Hotel Today for the AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference
Hotel Deadline: September 27, 2016
 

Jointly sponsored by AGC and CFMA, the 20th Annual AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference will be held Oct. 19-21 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. This three-day conference offers programs and workshops designed specifically for financial professionals in the construction industry. The 32 interactive sessions will cover the latest industry issues and their financial implications. Participants may earn up to 20 continuing professional education (CPE) credits. Register at meetings.agc.org/agc_cfma.

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

Early Bird Registration for AGC Financial Issues Winter Meeting
Register and Book Your Hotel Room Today – Early-Bird Ends this Month
 

The AGC Financial Issues Committee (FIC) Winter Meeting will be held January 10-11, 2017 at Trump National Doral Miami. The Committee is geared toward member company CFOs, Controllers, Tax Directors and other senior accounting professionals – in which attendees have an opportunity to learn as well as formulate positions on tax and accounting matters that directly affect AGC member companies. Meetings center around discussions with FASB, practitioners, and financial officer breakout groups on topics including internal controls, project performance reviews and cybersecurity solutions. Attendees also have an opportunity to network and discuss a wide variety of topics, including: audit issues faced by construction companies; congressional action on tax policy; and an economic outlook for the industry.

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

Share: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook

AGC Townhouse, 53 D Street SE • Washington, DC 20003 • 202.547.1625 (phone) • 202.547.1635 (fax)• www.agc.org
AGC Home | About AGC | Advocacy | Industry Topics | Construction Markets | Programs & Events | Career Development | News & Media

To ensure delivery of AGC’s Construction Legislative Week in Review, please add 'communications@agc.org' to your email address book or Safe Sender List. If you are still having problems receiving our communications, visit our white-listing page for more details.

© Copyright The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America. All Rights Reserved.