Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org October 12, 2017
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On the Inside
INFRASTRUCTURE
TCC Testifies on Need for an Infrastructure Bill
IMMIGRATION
Trump Releases Immigration Reform Principles, AGC Concerned Changes Conflict with Industries Priorities
LABOR
Senators Call for Congressional Action on Career and Technical Education AGC Doing the Same
DOL Training on Paid Sick Leave Requirement for Federal Contractors
TRANSPORTATION
DOT Withdraws Local Hire Rule
AGC Supports HOS Exemption for Asphalt Operations
INFRASTRUCTURE
TCC Testifies on Need for an Infrastructure Bill
 

Yesterday Jim Roberts, president & chief executive officer of Granite Construction, testified on behalf of the AGC co-chaired Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) at a hearing, “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Highways and Transit Stakeholders’ Perspectives,” in front of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. The hearing was an opportunity for the TCC to share the transportation construction industries priorities as Congress and the administration work toward an infrastructure proposal. The TCC testimony stressed the need to include a permanent fix for the Highway Trust Fund as part of any federal infrastructure effort, allocate any new funding for federal highway and transit programs among existing programs, continue providing tools that encourage the use of public-private partnerships.  Mr. Roberts and the TCC also encouraged the committee to fix the Highway Trust Fund as part of comprehensive tax reform.

Additionally, the TCC offered three specific recommendations to improve the environmental review process: 

  • Require a merger of the National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Water Act 404 permitting processes
  • Allow the monitoring, mitigation and other environmental planning work performed during the NEPA process, and included the final Environmental Impact Statement / Record of Decision, to satisfy federal environmental permitting requirements, unless there is a material change in the project
  • Develop a reasonable and measured approach to citizen suit reform to prevent misuse of environmental laws

AGC and our partners in the Transportation Construction Coalition will continue to push for an infrastructure proposal that among other things provides a long term solution to the Highway Trust Fund and expedites the delivery of infrastructure projects.

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

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IMMIGRATION
Trump Releases Immigration Reform Principles, AGC Concerned Changes Conflict with Industries Priorities
 

Earlier this week President Trump issued his priorities for immigration reform. The crux of his 70-point policy will be used as bargaining chips for Trump’s support for continuing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The other priorities were grouped by increased border security – including building a southern border wall –  increased interior enforcement – including mandatory e-verify – and a merit-based legal immigration system that prioritizes skill-based immigration.

The President’s agenda contrasts with many of AGC’s immigration priorities and lacks Congressional support, making it unlikely to advance as a whole. However, the debate could jumpstart Congressional action. AGC will use the opportunity to push for reforming the broken immigration system by restructuring the visa system, improving border security and addressing the undocumented workers already in the U.S.

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

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LABOR
Senators Call for Congressional Action on Career and Technical Education AGC Doing the Same
 

This week, a bipartisan group of 59 senators signed a letter calling for reforms to and reauthorization of career and technical education under the Perkins Act. Earlier this year, the House unanimously passed reforms to the Perkins Act through the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, H.R. 2353. The $1 billion program is significant because it helps offset the cost of career and technical education programs and is a component of AGC’s workforce strategy to close the skills gap. The reforms include better aligning education with local needs, promoting work‐based learning, spurring industry‐recognized credentials and providing modest funding increases.

AGC has been calling on the U.S. Senate to swiftly consider the House-passed bill and urges members to contact their senators to do the same. Today’s Senate letter closely aligns with the House-passed bill and AGC’s priorities, thus giving AGC encouragement that bipartisan legislation could can still happen.

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

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DOL Training on Paid Sick Leave Requirement for Federal Contractors
Complimentary AGC Webinar: November 8, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET
 

 Register today for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division webinar for AGC members on the requirement for federal contractors to provide seven days (56 hours) of paid sick leave annually. The requirement when into effect for contract solicitations issued on or after Jan. 1, 2017.

Remember, this requirement only applies to direct federal contractors (those with prime or subcontracts with or through a federal agency—i.e., Army Corps, Navy, U.S. General Services Administration, and so forth). The requirement DOES NOT apply to prime or subcontracts with or through state departments of transportation. Again, click here to register or for more information.

For more information, contact Claiborne Guy at claiborne.guy@agc.org or 703-837-5382. Return to Top

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TRANSPORTATION
DOT Withdraws Local Hire Rule
 

The Department of Transportation (DOT) last week issued a notice to withdraw a proposed rule and end the pilot program that allowed states to require contractors to meet local hire mandates on federal-aid highway and federally assisted transit contracts. The Obama Administration proposed the permanent rule change in March of 2015 and, while the rule change was pending, created a pilot program allowing states to move forward with local hire requirements. The pilot program was initially in place for one year but just prior to the end of the Obama term, the Department extended the pilot program for an additional five years. AGC opposed this rule from its inception and discussed our opposition in a meeting with Transportation Secretary Chao early in her term and in letters to the Department. Last weeks’ notice to end the pilot program is a win for AGC members.

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

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AGC Supports HOS Exemption for Asphalt Operations
 

AGC submitted comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) in support of a request by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) to exempt asphalt transport and placement operations from two provisions in the truck driver hours of service (HOS) regulations. One exemption would remove the requirement that asphalt drivers take a 30 minute break during an eight hour driving period. The second exemption would expand to 14 (from 12) the number of hours an asphalt driver, that stays within a 100 mile radius of where they report for work, can drive and still be considered a short haul driver (and thereby subject to less strict rules). AGC, however, recommended that these exemptions apply broadly to asphalt industry drivers and not be limited to NAPA members only. While NAPA’s request asks for the broad exemption, FMCSA proposed to limit the exemptions to NAPA members. AGC also suggested that the rule cover a variety of trucks used in asphalt placement not just hauling trucks.

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

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