Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org September 13, 2018
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On the Inside
APPROPRIATIONS
Billions of Dollars in Construction Funding in FY 2019 Funding Bills
FEDERAL CONTRACTING
Major AGC-Backed Water Infrastructure Bill Passes House
TAX/ACCOUNTING
House Committee on Ways and Means Takes Up “Tax Reform 2.0”
Join Us at the Next AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference
LABOR/HR
Construction HR & Training Professionals Gear Up for Industry Conference
APPROPRIATIONS
Billions of Dollars in Construction Funding in FY 2019 Funding Bills
Congress Approves Funds for USACE, NAVFAC, and Dept. of Veterans Affairs
 

On Sept. 13, Congress passed a Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 appropriations bill—which the president is expected to sign into law—that will provide significant amounts of funding for military construction projects through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC); hospital, medical clinic and cemetery projects through the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA); and harbor maintenance, lock, dam, levee and environmental restoration projects through the USACE Civil Works Program. 

The bill provides a total of $10.3 billion for military construction projects. This is an increase of $241 million, or 2.4 percent, above the enacted FY 2018 level. The bill appropriates $1.6 billion to fund construction, operation, and maintenance of military family housing for fiscal year 2019. This is $173 million above the fiscal year 2018 level and the same as the president’s FY 2019 budget request.

Major and minor construction within the VA is funded at $1.8 billion. In addition, $2 billion is provided for infrastructure repair, with the funding allocated to major and minor construction and non-recurring maintenance. Within the infrastructure total funding, $750 million is targeted to seismic corrections at VA facilities nationwide.

The total USACE Civil Works Program is funded at $7 billion, an 11 percent increase over last year and the highest ever Congress has appropriated to the agency. The Construction account receives $2.18 billion, and the Operations & Maintenance account received a record-level of $3.74 billion (which includes $1.55 billion in funding from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and full use of estimated annual revenues ($326.5 million) from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund.

In addition, lawmakers pushed back on President Trump’s efforts to move the USACE Civil Works Program out of the Department of Defense and moved into the Department of Transportation (navigation) and Department of Interior (flood control and environmental restoration), part of a broader reorganization of executive agencies announced earlier this year. In a joint statement, members of Congress stated that no funds could be used to reorganize the agency. 

AGC applauds the passage of these appropriation bills. AGC firmly believes passing appropriations bills in a timely fashion helps provide federal agencies and, in turn, federal construction contractors with financial and operational certainty that helps them with the planning and execution of infrastructure projects.

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

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FEDERAL CONTRACTING
Major AGC-Backed Water Infrastructure Bill Passes House
Authorizes Billions of Dollars for Corps, Drinking Water and Wastewater Projects
 

On Sept. 13, the House passed an AGC-supported water resources development bill that helps the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) maintain much of our nation’s water resources infrastructure.  The Senate is expected to approve the bill in the coming days. While not a funding bill, this legislation allows Congress to eventually approve billions of dollars in 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.  In addition, the bill reauthorizes the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) for $50 million annually in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 and provides a new authorization for the funding of State Revolving Funds with WIFIA dollars—which can be used for drinking water and wastewater facility projects.

Other notable provisions in the bill include:

  • Reaffirming a federal commitment to State Revolving Funds; 
  • Authorization of capital grants for State Drinking Water Treatment Revolving Loan Funds;
  • Establishing an innovative water infrastructure workforce development program;
  • Authorization of feasibility studies and critical projects;
  • Making publicly available USACE real estate assets as a means to help avoid sometimes lengthy Rivers and Harbors Act Section 408 approval processes, which delay Clean Water Act Section 404 permit issuance; and
  • Rehabilitation of USACE constructed dams.

For more information, contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368. Return to Top

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TAX/ACCOUNTING
House Committee on Ways and Means Takes Up “Tax Reform 2.0”
 

On Sept. 11, Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, Kevin Brady (R-Texas), released details on a package of bills that he has collectively referred to as “Tax Reform 2.0,” and announced that the Committee would mark up the legislation today, Sept 13. The centerpiece of Tax Reform 2.0 is the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018, which would make the temporary provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Republican tax reform plan passed at the end of 2017) permanent.  Because of budgetary reasons, a number of tax provisions affecting individuals and businesses, including the new 20 percent deduction for pass-through businesses, are scheduled to expire at the end of 2025.

AGC sent members of the committee a letter of support, noting the importance of making the new 20 percent pass-through deduction, lower individual rates, and the increased estate tax exemption permanent.  Additionally, AGC co-signed a Parity for Main Street Employers letter noting the importance of the new 20 percent deduction.

After Ways and Means consideration of the legislation, it is expected that the House of Representative will take up the bills the final week of September.  While it is unlikely that the Senate will vote on the legislation before the elections in November, it is possible that there may be action in the lame duck session of Congress before the end of the year.

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

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Join Us at the Next AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference
Book your Hotel by Oct. 2
 

Jointly sponsored by AGC and CFMA, the 22nd Annual AGC/CFMA Construction Financial Management Conference will be held Oct. 24-26 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 34 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 Matthew Turkstra at matt.turkstra@agc.org or (202) 547-4733. Return to Top

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LABOR/HR
Construction HR & Training Professionals Gear Up for Industry Conference
Cutoff for Hotel Reservations is Tuesday, September 18, 2018!
 

Each October, construction industry professionals in HR, training and workforce development gear up for the industry’s premier learning and networking event, AGC’s Construction HR & Training Professionals Conference, and this year is no different.  The 2018 event will be held Oct. 10-12 at The Worthington Renaissance Forth Worth Hotel, in Fort Worth, TX.  For more information or to register, visit here.

This year’s Conference will kick-off on the afternoon of Oct. 10 with a pre-conference Federal Construction HR Workshop.  Designed to help staff responsible for compliance on federal and federally assisted projects, the workshop provides practical information and best-practice advice from experts and peers experienced in the area. Session topics include “Meeting EEO/AA Obligations of a Federal (sub) Contractor”, “OFCCP Update 2018”, and “Federal Contractor Pay Practices and Requirements”. 

During the Conference, sessions for training professionals will cover the most cutting-edge techniques in training and development currently in use and envisioned for the future of the industry while the HR-related sessions will help HR professionals in the industry remain up to date and compliant with employment laws and best practices.  Not to be missed this year are the Conference’s four anchor sessions.  Speaker, trainer and author Pete Smith will kick off the conference with his session “Dare to Matter: Rising to the Level of Significance.”  Rob Salome, Retired Army Colonel and former City Manager of Fort Campbell, KY, will close the first day of the conference with his keynote session “The Evolution of Leadership”. On the final day of the conference, Matt Abele of Caddell Construction will present a case study on strategic resource allocation. And to close out the conference, NCCER will moderate an expert panel on workforce development. This session will be informative for everyone as the panelists will share practical ideas and innovative solutions to the ongoing workforce crisis.

General and specialty contractor staff, AGC chapter staff, and other professionals involved in workforce and professional development, education, human resources and training are invited to attend. For those seeking to earn professional credentials at the event, Conference attendees who hold a PHR, SPHR or GPHR certification and attend the entire conference and workshop will earn 12 general recertification credits through the HR Certification Institute.  Sessions may also qualify for SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification.  

For complete session descriptions, schedule, registration, and hotel information, visit the AGC website. Return to Top

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