Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org August 9, 2018
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On the Inside
IMMIGRATION
Your Help is Needed to Support Immigration Reform
HIGHWAY/TRANSPORTATION
AGC Working to Fix the Hours of Service Rule
Urge Support for House Transportation Committee Infrastructure Plan
Highway, Transportation and Utility Construction Conference Highlights Key Market Issues
LABOR/HR
Career and Technical Education Reform Signed into Law
TAX/ACCOUNTING
Treasury Releases Regulations on Pass-Through Deduction (199A)
ENVIRONMENT
AGC’s Environmental Conference Makes Managing Compliance Manageable
SAFETY
Advanced Safety Management Training Course
IMMIGRATION
Your Help is Needed to Support Immigration Reform
Contact your Members of Congress
 

Prior to the Congressional summer break, the Workforce for an Expanding Economy Act was introduced in the House to fill the visa gap for year-round less-skilled and middle-skilled construction workers. Current law allows legal immigration for high tech, agriculture and seasonal worker but there is no dedicated visa for typical construction occupations. AGC views the legislation as a complement to its efforts to help address the industry’s worker shortages as well as a critical ingredient for immigration reform. Please contact your federal legislators through the AGC Legislative Action Center.

The bill creates a market-driven visa program that would match employers with potential immigrant laborers by creating temporary visas for guest workers if local market conditions warrant and U.S. workers cannot be found. The program would have an annual cap and would fluctuate based on demand, with a number of wage and labor protections to further protect American workers.

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

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HIGHWAY/TRANSPORTATION
AGC Working to Fix the Hours of Service Rule
We Need your Help: Contact your Representative
 

AGC is working in support of the HOURS Act, which would expand the logging exemption for short haul drivers from 100 to 150 miles, expand the on-duty time to 14 hours and eliminate the 30-minute rest requirement. Certain paperwork requirements would also be eased and the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) would be encouraged to move expeditiously to finalize a rule on the use of sleeper berth to meet off-duty provisions. AGC is urging members to contact their Congressional representative through AGC’s Legislative Action Center. 

AGC maintains that construction industry truck drivers were never intended to be covered by FMCSA’s hours of service (HOS) restrictions, which were originally aimed at long-haul, cross-country drivers. However, many construction drivers are impacted. The problem has become more pronounced as a result of the recent requirement that drivers must use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to record their on-duty times.

While a variety of exemptions have been granted to segments of the construction industry – such as asphalt and ready mix delivery and certain trucks used in paving operations – these are limited and cause confusion. AGC will continue to work for a broader construction industry exemption but supports this legislation as a first step to freeing a vast number of construction drivers from hours-of-service logging requirements.

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

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Urge Support for House Transportation Committee Infrastructure Plan
 

On July 23, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster released a discussion draft to make significant investments in our nation's infrastructure. Whether or not this proposal is successful depends upon you, and other construction industry professionals, collectively calling upon your federally elected officials to put partisanship aside and do what is right for our nation. Contact your U.S. representative so that they can hear YOUR voice and understand that investing in and improving our nation’s infrastructure helps America prosper.

The plan calls for investing a significant sum in America's aging and over-burdened infrastructure, streamlining the federal environmental permit and review processes to help deliver needed projects faster, calling for long-term solutions to funding existing federal infrastructure programs, including the Highway Trust Fund and the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.

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

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Highway, Transportation and Utility Construction Conference Highlights Key Market Issues
New Issue Added – Improving Your Company’s Productivity
 

The major issues that will impact contractors involved in the highway, transportation and utility construction markets will be addressed as part of the Joint Contractors Conference scheduled for September 29-October 1, 2018 in Crystal City, Virginia (DC area). Newly added to the conference agenda: Data Analysis in Heavy Construction: Improving Production, Equipment Utilization, and Safety & Health. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has also been invited to discuss President Trump’s infrastructure and regulatory reform agenda.

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

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LABOR/HR
Career and Technical Education Reform Signed into Law
New Opportunities for Employers
 

On July 31, the president signed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act into law. This bill reauthorizes the Perkins Act, which provides over $1 billion to the states to fund career and technical education for secondary and post-secondary programs. Among the law’s changes are the relationships between the states and Department of Education and how educators consult with stakeholders, such as employers.

With a greater emphasis on employer input on labor shortages and in-demand skills an AGC coalition has provided a list of provisions of interest to employers. The document also provides opportunities for employers that engage with their educators on how federal funds are spent locally. AGC is encouraged that the law will have meaningful results because local educators will be forced to consult and work with local employers. AGC will continue to monitor implementation of the law and evaluate opportunities for employers.

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

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TAX/ACCOUNTING
Treasury Releases Regulations on Pass-Through Deduction (199A)
 

On Wednesday, Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released an important proposed regulation stemming from passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  The Act included a new deduction, Section 199A, which provided a 20 percent deduction off the qualified business income for most pass-through businesses, such as partnerships, S-Corporations, or LLC’s, with certain restrictions.  The deduction reduced the disparity between tax rates in the Act, where C-Corporations are now taxed at a 21 percent rate, while pass-through businesses are taxed at the individual rates, up to a top 37 percent marginal rate.

The proposed regulations answer many questions that AGC had about how the deduction will work in practice for many construction firms, and request comment on others; we are still evaluating.  The proposed regulation allows for a 45 day comment period, and Treasury has scheduled a public hearing on October 16.  AGC will be filing comments.

For more information, contact Matthew Turkstra at matt.turkstra@agc.org or (202) 547-4733. Return to Top

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ENVIRONMENT
AGC’s Environmental Conference Makes Managing Compliance Manageable
Hear Regulatory Updates from Federal Regulatory Agencies and Industry Experts
 

If your goal is an excellent compliance record, then AGC’s 2018 Construction Environmental Conference is the conference for you.  Join us Sept. 12 and 13 in Crystal City, Virginia, and learn how to manage environmental requirements with information straight from federal regulatory agencies and industry experts.  This year, AGC has invited representatives from several program offices at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to participate in providing briefs on important and emerging issues (e.g., stormwater, groundwater, 404 permitting, aerosol cans, and lead-based paint).  AGC has also invited the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to share some of their agencies’ priorities and recent developments.

Industry experts will also provide insights and updates on the Waters of the United States, Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting, hazardous materials, and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

Register today at https://meetings.agc.org/cec/. Return to Top
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SAFETY
Advanced Safety Management Training Course
October 17-19 in Arlington, VA, 10 Seats Left!
 

This unique three–day course provides construction safety and health professionals with the next–level knowledge required to successfully manage a company–wide safety program. Moving beyond the basics of Focus Four training, AGC’s Advanced Safety Management Training Program will give participants a more holistic view of safety’s role in project and company success, as well as advanced tactics and best practices for managing all aspects of a corporate safety program. Participants will also focus on the importance of "selling" safety throughout the organization and methods to generate buy–in from different audiences. Full details on the course and links to registration can be found here. Return to Top

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